Real Madrid hold a slender advantage coming into the second-leg against Bayern, but will have to complete the job without two of their starters
Real Madrid host Bayern Munich at the Bernabeu this midweek, looking to capitalize on the advantage of a 2-1 victory in Munich. But they were dealt with an early blow in the quest as they lose two of their starters to injury.
Reports have confirmed that right-back Daniel Carvajal is out for upto two weeks with a hamstring injury, sidelining him for the deciding tie on Tuesday. The Spaniard left the field clutching his legs in the second-half of the first leg that day while trying to mark Frank Ribery. But after undergoing medical tests, it has been confirmed that he has sustained a muscle injury to the femoral biceps hamstring.
In the same game, Isco was taken off with a niggle too. The 25-year old has been diagnosed with a shoulder injury and would miss out on the second-leg. Although the exact recovery date hasn’t been determined, the players now face a race against time to reclaim fine fettle if Real Madrid does progress to the Kiev finals next month.
The high-profile casualties further compound Zidane’s misery, who’s walking on fire at the moment. A Champions League triumph, a third time on the trot, can only secure his job. And he needs the team to be at full throttle in that quest. Nacho is the next option in place of Carvajal, but there are questions around his fitness too.
The Spaniard is said to only return to training while his match fitness is still uncertain. That leaves Zidane with Achraf Hakimi as the only out-and-out full-back option on the right.
Carvajal and Isco may not fall in the same bracket as Cristiano Ronaldo and the likes, but they are an integral part of Zidane’s system. The former’s overlapping runs down the wings will be big miss against Bayern, while Isco’s creativity and orchestration of attack from behind the front two will also be missed.