Real Madrid have been handed a fitness boost with the news that Thibaut Courtois is set to be fit to face Liverpool in the Champions League.
As per The Athletic, Courtois had to sit out of Sunday’s 1-0 defeat to Real Mallorca. The 31-year-old reportedly picked up an injury in the pre-match warmup and was forced to withdraw from the starting XI.
This led to fears that he could miss the trip to Liverpool in two weeks time. However, The Athletic report that Courtois is instead hopeful of making a return for Saturday’s Club World Cup final – should Madrid qualify for it.
The Belgian reportedly did not travelled to Morocco with the rest of the squad for tomorrow’s game with Al Ahly. However, there’s said to be a ‘chance’ for him to play on Saturday. As a result, he’s also expected to be healthy for the big game at Anfield on February 21st.
Liverpool’s score to settle with Courtois
We don’t want to be reliant on player injuries to have a chance of sliding past Madrid in the upcoming last-16 tie.
But right now, Carlo Ancelotti missing players perhaps represents Liverpool’s best chance of getting through.
That’s a shame, but it’s the reality. And given his performance in last year’s Champions League final, plenty of Reds fans would have gladly seen Courtois miss this one.
The former Chelsea stopper was undoubtedly the key man in Paris. Thierry Henry called his display that night ‘outstanding’ and he wasn’t the only one to do so.
Try as they might, Liverpool just couldn’t seem to get past Courtois, who joined Real for £35m in 2018.
Having now failed to score in their last three Premier League games, you wouldn’t back them to change that this time either.
But Madrid aren’t exactly the same beast right now, it must be said. In Courtois’ absence Andriy Lunin was unable to prevent them falling to a shock 1-0 defeat against Mallorca.
That loss leaves them eight points behind leaders Barcelona in La Liga. The drop-off isn’t akin to Liverpool’s, but it’s clear that this is a meeting between two European giants struggling for form. With Courtois in the side, Madrid will be more confident. Perhaps there’s an opening for the Reds to give their season an almighty boost, though.
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