Why aren’t Alaba and Arda Güler playing for Real Madrid against Napoli?
Real Madrid take on Napoli today in a box-office clash on matchday two of the 2023/24 Champions League.
Real Madrid face Napoli today with a number of ongoing absentees in defence.
Why isn’t Alaba playing for Madrid?
Madrid, who visit the Italians on matchday two of the Champions League group stage, must again do without centre-back David Alaba, who also missed the weekend win over Girona. The 31-year-old has been struggling with a groin injury picked up in Los Blancos’ victory over Las Palmas three days before Saturday’s visit to Montilivi.
It was thought possible that the Austrian could return to Madrid’s squad for the trip to Italy, but he finally stayed behind in the Spanish capital.
Prior to Alaba’s injury, Madrid were already without goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and central defender Éder Militao, who are both out long term after sustaining ACL tears in August.
In Alaba and Militao’s absence, Nacho Fernández is to partner Antonio Rüdiger at centre-back in Naples. Given Madrid’s shortage of defenders, ‘B’-team player Álvaro Carrillo was added to Carlo Ancelotti’s travelling party and is among the substitutes at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.
Nacho set for stint on sidelines
Nacho himself is about to become unavailable to Madrid, as the 33-year-old is due to serve a suspension in LaLiga for his sending-off against Girona. The club youth product was shown a straight red card late on in Catalonia, for a horror tackle on forward Portu.
Why isn’t Arda Güler playing?
Signed from Fenerbahce this summer, 18-year-old starlet Arda Güler has caused immense excitement among the Madrid fanbase - but is yet to make his debut for the 14-time European champions.
Having recently returned to Madrid training after recovering from a knee injury suffered soon after he joined the club in July, Güler was ruled out again late last month. This time, the attacking midfielder has suffered a thigh strain and isn’t expected to be back fit until after the October international break.
Real Madrid’s starting line-up vs Napoli
Kepa; Carvajal, Rüdiger, Nacho, Camavinga; Tchouaméni, Valverde, Kroos, Bellingham; Vinicius, Rodrygo.
Napoli vs Real Madrid live with AS USA
You can follow live-text commentary of Napoli vs Real Madrid with AS USA’s Paul Reidy.