Real Madrid continue the defense of their European title in midweek when they host RB Leipzig in UCL group stage play. They’ll do so, most likely, without the services of their iconic talisman, Karim Benzema. He missed out of the weekend’s rout of Mallorca due to injury, and there is no timetable on his return.
“The team knew how to cope without Karim, that’s important for confidence, but we want to get Karim back as soon as possible,” manager Carlo Ancelotti said after the victorious La Liga fixture.
Real Madrid vs RB Leipzig FYIs
Kick: Wed. Sept 14, 8pm, Estadio Santiago Bernabeu
Competition: UCL Group F, Matchday 2 of 6
WATCH: Click the banners in this post to access the live stream
Real Madrid Starting XI Prediction: go here
Google Result Probability: Real Madrid 65% Maccabi Haifa 16% Draw 19%
UCL Group Standings: Real Madrid: 2nd, 3pts Maccabi Haifa 3rd, 0pts
“It was difficult in the first half, not because Hazard was at centre-forward. It was difficult because the position when he dropped off wasn’t occupied by the others.
“In the future I have the same idea — sometimes I could play with Rodrygo at centre-forward, or Hazard at centre-forward with Rodrygo out wide. It’s harder to do it with Valverde out wide.”
Referring to the aforementioned Eden Hazard, he started his first match since January, assuming a False No.9 role, but he got subbed off in the 59th minute.
It’s extremely rare to see him start a match, during his injury riddled Real Madrid career, so it will be interesting to see what kind of role he plays in this one. Also it’s very likely that Ancelotti will not be able to call upon Eder Militao or Alvaro Odriozola for this one, as they continue to be sidelined. Obviously though, being without Karim Benzema, will be the biggest issue for this clash.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Bank (TheSportsBank.Net) and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
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