Real Madrid are just a day away from what is set to be a thrilling encounter against Antonio Conte's Inter at San Siro. The Blancos, currently third in their UEFA Champions League group after three games, registered their first win in Europe this season against Inter after losing their opener to Shakhtar Donetsk and drawing the second game against Borussia Monchengladbach.
A loss to Inter could have catastrophic implications for Real Madrid and Zinedine Zidane, who could face an embarrassing group-stage elimination. Ahead of their encounter in Milan, here, we take a look at the latest Real Madrid news.
Sergio Ramos, Karim Benzema, and list of Real Madrid absentees
Real Madrid are currently undergoing an injury crisis during a crucial part of the season. The Spanish champions are set to travel to Milan for their all-important game against Inter and, to their misfortune, will be without their skipper and defensive colossus Sergio Ramos at the back.
Karim Benzema, who picked up a hamstring injury during his side's 4-1 loss to Valencia, has been left out of the squad as he is not fit to play.
Benzema's understudy, Luka Jovic, has also been left out after testing positive for COVID-19, much like Eder Militao who returned a second positive result ahead of the game. As a result of the Serb's absence, Hugo Duro, on loan from Getafe, has been included in the squad along with Mariano Diaz. However, Zidane will be boosted by the return of midfield titan Casemiro, whose absence has been sorely felt by the side.
Elsewhere, Alvaro Odriozola and Fede Valverde continue to recover from their injuries and are not available for selection.
Antonio Conte laughs off claims of 'weakened' Real Madrid side
Inter coach Antonio Conte does not believe that they will be facing a 'weakened' Real Madrid side, which is something that has been suggested due to the ongoing injury crisis at the Spanish club. Zidane is set to travel without the likes of Sergio Ramos and Karim Benzema for the game, but Conte does not believe that they can 'cry' about these absences, saying that Real Madrid have a 'complete squad'.
Speaking ahead of the game, the Italian said;
"I don't think Real [Madrid] can cry from this point of view. They have a complete squad, with lots of good players. The fact that the press talks about the absences makes me smile a little."
Inter star Romelu Lukaku missed the reverse fixture in Madrid but is set to face Real Madrid at home. Conte's side succumbed to a defeat after a later Rodrygo Goes equaliser off the bench.
Casemiro heaps praise on Blancos captain Sergio Ramos
Brazilian midfielder Casemiro waxed lyrical about his skipper and Real Madrid legend Sergio Ramos. The Spanish defender's future has been one of the most significant talking points heading into the winter transfer window as he is into the final year of his contract in Madrid, and could be allowed to negotiate terms with potential clubs and sign a pre-contract in January should he fail to receive a new deal from Real Madrid.
Speaking on the 34-year-old and his impact on the club, Casemiro expressed;
"Sergio [Ramos] is a leader in the dressing room and on the field. It’s a pleasure to have shared all these years with him. What he's doing now is writing his name in the club’s history books. He's a player who never gives up. He always wants to fight and he always wants to win. He pushes the team forward, and he’s a leader and a role model for us."
Ramos, who has scored a staggering 100 goals in 660 appearances for Real Madrid, will be unavailable for their trip to Milan. Casemiro has returned to the squad after recovering from COVID-19.
Published 24 Nov 2020, 21:34 IST