Real Madrid: Ancelotti turns to Latasa with Benzema, Vinicius out against Granada
With Karim Benzema and Vinicius sidelined for Granada, Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has called up towering Castilla striker Juan Miguel Latasa.
Carlo Ancelotti has handed Castilla striker Juan Miguel Latasa a first senior call-up for Sunday’s game against Granada with Karim Benzema injured, Vinicius Junior suspended and Mariano still unavailable. In his pre-match press conference, the Italian said Benzema is almost ready to return but not quite 100 percent while the Brazilian forward was sent off against Elche in Madrid’s last Liga outing and will serve a one-match suspension. As such, Ancelotti has decided to hand Latasa an opportunity against Granada while he aims to get his senior strikers back to full fitness ahead of the Champions League clash against PSG on 15 February.
For the visit of Granada, Ancelotti has only Luka Jovic available as a pure striker, although Eden Hazard, Gareth Bale and Rodrygo give the Italian options up front. But the chance to set Latasa loose on a Primera back line has caught Ancelotti’s eye after the 20-year-old’s breakout season for Castilla, in which he has scored six goals, including two against Barcelona B a week ago. Latasa is also a seriously destabilizing presence for opposition defences at 1.92 metres (6’3”) tall.
Latasa has been installed as Raúl’s starting striker this season and has made 16 appearances. He also has four caps for Spain at under-20 level, finding the net twice. The forward, who formed part of the generation of Madrid youngsters who won the UEFA Youth League in 2018, has yet to make a senior appearance for the club.
Real Madrid squad for Granada
Keepers: Courtois, Lunin, Diego Piñeiro
Defenders: Carvajal, Militão, Alaba, Nacho, Vallejo, Marcelo
Midfielders: Casemiro, Kroos, Modric, Camavinga, Ceballos, Valverde, Isco
Forwards: Lucas Vázquez, Rodrygo, Bale, Asensio, Hazard, Jovic, Latasa
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