Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane says Fede Valverde will face Liverpool in the Champions League today. The midfielder was a big doubt for the game.
Mundo Deportivo reported at the weekend that Fede Valverde was a major doubt to face Liverpool. He’d picked up a knock against Barcelona, forcing him to train on his own in an attempt to recover quickly.
And that was a big worry for Real Madrid. They’re currently battling an injury crisis, with five players missing from their squad for the game.
That includes their first-choice centre-backs Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos. They’re also without their first and second-choice right-backs, with Dani Carvajal and Lucas Vazquez absent.
Eden Hazard won’t play either, despite featuring in team training for the first time in a while.
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Losing Valverde would have been a blow, then. Especially as his skillset will prove useful tonight.
He’s an aggressive, high-energy midfielder and someone who can match Liverpool’s inevitable intensity at Anfield. Zidane will want him and, fortunately for the Frenchman, he’s got him.
“Fede has recovered and he will be one hundred per cent with the team,” said Zidane, per Marca.
“We will see how we manage him.”
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Given Liverpool have an injury crisis of their own, the more Real match that, the better. Valverde playing is something of a blow for the Reds, then.
But it’s not the end of the world and likely won’t change how Jurgen Klopp sets up his team at all. It’s just another weapon in Zidane’s arsenal and a useful one.
Real have enough injuries to provide an opportunity for Liverpool, though. Their defence is very weak by its usual standards and more make-shift than the Reds’.
It’s a game for the forwards to mark their mark, then. Hopefully, Liverpool’s can do just that.