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Real Madrid’s defensive woes continue: Carvajal, also injured

The right-back is suffering from hip discomfort; Odriozola and Nacho are the replacement options.

The right-back is suffering from hip discomfort; Odriozola and Nacho are the replacement options.
Juan Carlos CárdenasEFE

Bad luck is growing out of the walls at the Real Madrid training ground like a fungus. Two days before the Cup, they lose Carvajal, a setback that squeezed down the options on the right side to the bare bones and added another name to the checked-in list at the infirmary: Alaba, Lucas Vázquez, Tchouameni... and now Carvajal. The situation at this time of the afternoon is clear: he is 95% ruled out for the game against Villarreal, if not more.

Only an unexpected -and miraculous- recovery between today and tomorrow would open the door for the right-back travel. He did not participate in the morning session this Tuesday and only tomorrow’s session remains before the game; playing without having trained before, at least one day, would be risky.

Carvajal’s lack of playing time this season

“Pending evolution”, is the unofficial medical report, for the moment. The footballer is suffering from hip pain, he has not been 100% for a few weeks now and needs time out from the team. Carvajal’s most recent games have left a disappointing taste in the mouth: against Morocco he was a substitute (Luis Enrique preferred Llorente); he played 59 minutes in Valladolid and disappeared against Cacereño and Villarreal, only to reappear in a Super Cup where he had a poor game. He was slower, shyer, and conveyed a feeling of not being fit at all. In fact, of the two games he played in Saudi Arabia, he didn’t finish either of them.

Carvajal before a match of the Spanish Super Cup.
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Carvajal before a match of the Spanish Super Cup.Anadolu AgencyGetty

Nacho or Odriozola?

That is the question that is on Ancelotti’s mind at the moment. Everything points to Nacho as a right-back at La Cerámica against Villarreal (he played the 120 minutes against Valencia as a left-back and the final part against Barça as a right-sided defender). “Play as a full-back? What makes me happy is playing, regardless of the position. I just want to play”, Nacho said in the mixed zone. This season he has the eighth-lowest number of minutes in the squad this season (only 27%), having been a right back in only one game, the Super Cup final.

The other option would be Odriozola, who is not an option for Carletto: only Mariano has fewer minutes. Although there would also be a third possibility: a Vinicius Tobias debut.

LaLiga Santander 2022/2023

2Real Madrid381222
3Real Sociedad351124
Full classification
Upcoming matches
Athletic Club - Real MadridS-22/01 15:00
Real Madrid - Real SociedadS-29/01 15:00
Real Madrid - Valencia CFT-02/02 15:00

*Data updated to date Jan 17th, 2023