Two of Real Madrid’s midfielders Toni Kroos and Aurelien Tchouameni will not travel to Anfield to face Liverpool for their first leg UEFA Champions League clash after being left out of the squad list. However, Karim Benzema is back in the team squad after an absence.
The Champions League winners arrived on Monday afternoon for their much anticipated clash. The two teams already faced each other in the last Champions League final with Real Madrid being the victor. In the absence of their two star midfielders, Real will still have Luka Modric, Dani Ceballos, Federico Valverde, Eduardo Camavinga, Sergio Arribas, and Mario Martin in their midfield.
According to Relevo, Kroos suffered an infection in his intestine. It is said to be badly impacting his weight and muscle mass. He had also earlier missed Wednesday’s La Liga game against Elche due to the illness. Tchouameni also contracted the flu causing his exclusion at the last minute. Carlo Ancelotti will have to work a new midfield formula with Valverde maybe being forced to drop deep.
Benzema is back in the squad after being in and out of injuries. It seems he is still feeling the effects of the hamstring injury he suffered in French camp training ahead of the World Cup. He was also substituted early in the last game against Elche. He was then excluded from the squad against Osasuna, making him a major doubt for the Liverpool fixture.
While Real Madrid fans will be saddened at not having two of their dynamic midfield stars, Benzema’s inclusion may put some hope into them.
Liverpool has regained form after starting the year in a bad way with bad results. They beat Newcastle 2-0 away and are back in the top-four race.
The English club has a lot of bad blood with Real Madrid in the Champions League. Last years final saw a Vinicius Junior goal win the game 1-0 for Real. In the 2021-22 edition of the Champions League, they were dumped from the quarter-finals 3-1 aggregate by Real Madrid. Four years ago, the boys in white again beat Liverpool in a Champions League final 3-1 with a disastrous performance by Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius.
Jurgen Klopp and his players will finally try to take advantage of Real Madrid’s midfield problems and try to get one over their continental rivals.