Real Madrid team news ahead of Celta Vigo and Inter Milan
Casemiro, Militao, Vinicius and Valverde all returned to training on Friday having just arrived back in Madrid following international duty in South America.
Having just returned from international duty in South America, Brazil trio Casemiro, Militao and Vinicius, and Uruguay’s Fede Valverde were straight back to work at Real Madrid’s Valdebebas training base, just over 48 hours ahead of Los Blancos' clash with Celta Vigo on Sunday.
The fact that the South American quartet trained as normal will be a relief to coach Carlo Ancelottti, who knows he can count on the four players for the visit of Celta, which will be the first game at the newly-revamped Santiago Bernabéu.
Casemiro and Militao trained alone on the grass alongside Gareth Bale and David Alaba, while Valverde stayed in the gym with injured pair Toni Kroos and Dani Ceballos.
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Tough schedule ahead for Real Madrid
The four South American players all started the game against Real Betis on 28 August (which Madrid won 1-0 thanks to a goal from Dani Carvajal) and will be essential during the tough week of fixtures ahead, with Celta on Sunday, the trip to Inter Milan for the Champions League opener on Wednesday, followed by another tricky away fixture at Valencia next Sunday.
With the absence of Kroos, Casemiro and Valverde are expected to start all three fixtures. Modric has been exercising this week with total normality, but Ancelotti may not want to risk playing him on Sunday against Celta, with the Inter clash three days later in mind.
Marcelo or Gutiérrez, Vinicius or Hazard
At left back it is unclear whether Ancelotti will opt for the returning Marcelo on Sunday, which would be to the detriment of youth team graduate Miguel Gutiérrez, who will have the coach’s confidence following his impressive performance against Betis last weekend.
Similar question marks hang over the left wing, where Ancelotti will have to choose between Vinicius or Eden Hazard. Considering his excellent start to the season, with two goals against Levante and a great display against Betis, it would be very realistic to think that Vinicius will start. On the other hand, given the little rest time he has had between his arrival from Brazil and Sunday’s game, Ancelotti could opt to go with Hazard.
Hazard returned to Madrid this week following international duty with Belgium, during which he started against Estonia and Czech Republic, chalking up a goal and assist, and played 30 minutes as a replacement against Belarus.