Alaba returns from injury in a key moment with Militão out
Both Militão and Benzema are injured and unavailable for Sunday’s trip to Mallorca.
The second time is a charm: Alaba is back. After 26 days of an eternally long hospital corridor, having suffered from discomfort in his right calf just before the Spanish Super Cup, the Austrian has returned. He missed the games in Saudi Arabia in order to focus on speeding up his recovery as much as possible. And by the time the derby arrived he was back in the squad.
It became a fiasco, as hours before the game the club announced a relapse. Nerves were in the air until yesterday, when he finished a very demanding session without a moment of pain. ‘Finally’, he must have thought. Alaba now has the go-ahead and, after missing seven games (in the Super Cup, the Copa del Rey, against Athletic Club, Real Sociedad and Valencia), he is in Ancelotti’s squad list against Mallorca.
David’s back, back again
Alaba is now reinforcement for another injured player. Militao’s injury isn’t serious, but he is not in the squad for tomorrow. Faced with this setback, Ancelotti can count on the Austrian and can take a deep breath. David Alaba is set to start at left-back, leaving a Nacho-Rüdiger pairing in the centre of defence and Carvajal at right-back, who completed a strong hour against Valencia.
- More detail: How Madrid defeated Valencia at the Santiago Bernabéu
Another alternative would be to move Nacho to the full-back position and have Alaba accompany Rüdiger, which would see Camavinga keeping his place at left-back, despite Ancelotti’s comments midweek that “[Camavinga] doesn’t like it there, but we do.”
And up front? Benzema will not be fit to play against Mallorca either, suffering from discomfort in his knee that appeared last Thursday, after attempting a shot with his left foot. Karim’s injury is less worrying than Militao’: on paper, the Club World Cup shouldn’t be in danger, but it’s certain that he won’t play tomorrow.
Aa such, it is another golden opportunity for Rodrygo, who is increasingly establishing himself as a substitute striker. Coincidentally, it was against Mallorca when he benched Hazard and took on that central role, unblocking a game that, at times, saw Madrid running through slime (Mallorca, with a back 5, went on to win 0- 1). Tomorrow is another moment for Rodrygo to shine.
LaLiga Santander 2022/2023
|Mallorca - Real Madrid||S-05/02 8:00|
*Data updated to date February 4th, 2023
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