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Real Madrid missing two players for La Liga opener with Almeria

Real Madrid missing two players for La Liga opener with Almeria

Real Madrid will be without the services of Dani Carvajal and Rodrygo for their 2022-23 La Liga opener against Almeria on Sunday night.

Both players were involved in the UEFA Super Cup against Eintracht Frankfurt on Wednesday evening, with Carvajal starting at right-back, and Rodrygo being introduced in the 66th minute of the team’s 2-0 win.

However, Carvajal picked up a small issue in the contest with the German giants, which has ruled him out of the squad for the Almeria game, while Rodrygo was forced to miss training ahead of the match due to a muscular problem, with the Brazilian also not making the trip.

Alvaro Odriozola has been named in the squad despite the speculation surrounding his future, although Carvajal’s absence is likely to lead to Lucas Vazquez starting at right-back.

There are no other major absentees for the La Liga and European champions, with new signings Antonio Rudiger and Aurelien Tchouameni both in line to make their La Liga debuts.

New Real Madrid defender Antonio Rudiger pictured on June 20, 2022© Reuters

Dani Ceballos is another player to be linked with a summer exit, but the midfielder was involved in the UEFA Super Cup against Frankfurt and is also in the squad for this match.

Marco Asensio is also included, with the speculation surrounding his future quietening in recent weeks, while there is a spot for Mariano Diaz, another player strongly linked with a departure in the current window.

“At this moment in time they’re both still here and working well,” Los Blancos head coach Carlo Ancelotti told reporters during his press conference when asked about Ceballos and Asensio.

“But, if something changes in their heads, we’ll adapt. We have a deep squad, we want to give all players minutes and we have a World Cup in the middle. So, we’ll rotate more than last season.”

Rudiger’s arrival has boosted Ancelotti’s options in the middle of his defence, while Tchouameni will compete with the likes of Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Casemiro and Eduardo Camavinga for the spots in central midfield.

Real Madrid attacker Marco Asensio pictured on September 22, 2021© Reuters

Real Madrid comfortably won the La Liga title last season, securing the trophy at the end of April, and they ultimately finished 13 points clear of second-place Barcelona.

Xavi‘s side could only manage a goalless draw against Rayo Vallecano on Saturday evening, meaning that Los Blancos will already have the chance to open up some ground on their Clasico rivals.

Ancelotti has said that his team “feel good and are excited” for the new campaign, which will also see them defend the Champions League title.

“We feel good and are excited to start this new league campaign,” the Italian told reporters during his press conference. “Every match will be very competitive and difficult, starting with tomorrow’s one. It’ll be a long season.”

Real Madrid won 26, drew eight and lost four of their 38 La Liga matches last season, scoring 80 times and conceding just 31.

Full Real Madrid squad: Courtois, Lunin, Luis Lopez; Militao, Alaba, Vallejo, Nacho, Odriozola, Rudiger, Mendy; Kroos, Modric, Camavinga, Casemiro, Valverde, Vazquez, Tchouameni, Ceballos; Hazard, Benzema, Asensio, Vinicius, Mariano

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