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Benzema, Tchouameni and Kroos remain doubts for Real Madrid’s trip to Anfield

The first leg of the Champions League round of 16 in Liverpool on Tuesday has some key players as touch and go for Carlo Ancelotti.

The first leg of the Champions League round of 16 in Liverpool on Tuesday has some key players as touch and go for Carlo Ancelotti.

Real Madrid has concerns regarding their upcoming trip to Liverpool as three of their key players - Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos, and Aurélien Tchouameni - did not participate in the team’s training on Sunday. There is uncertainty surrounding their availability for the Champions League first leg at Anfield on Tuesday. The absence of all three players from training two days before the game is not a positive sign, although there is still believed to be some hope that they may be fit to play.

Benzema back-up for Real Madrid

Benzema trained separately on Sunday, focusing on his physical fitness with a recovery specialist. However, he did not participate in any game-related activities or the final goal-scoring practice, indicating that he has not fully recovered from his injury picked up in the match against Elche. If he is unable to play, Rodrygo is expected to replace him as the team’s number nine, and young Álvaro Rodríguez may be included in the squad as an alternative.

Real Madrid's Karim Benzema goes through his paces.
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Real Madrid's Karim Benzema goes through his paces.Pedro CastilloGetty

Tchouameni and Kroos fighting bugs

Kroos has been out of action for several days due to gastroenteritis, causing him to miss the team’s previous two games against Elche and Osasuna. Tchouameni was absent from training due to a flu-like illness, but he is expected to travel to Liverpool, whereas Kroos’ availability will depend on his physical recovery, as his illness has caused him to lose a significant amount of weight.

Real Madrid’s Champions League round of 16 match against Liverpool is a replay of last year’s final and, despite Teh Reds struggling this season, there has been an uptick in form, as well as a return of some key players, in recent games. If Kroos and Tchouameni are unavailable, Camavinga and Ceballos may step in as replacements, both in very decent form.

Despite the uncertainties, and some bumps of their own domestically, Carlo Ancelotti and co. have their eyes on yet another title as they aim to defend their crown in the competition. There is a long way to go, though, and European nights at Anfield are like no other.


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