Real Madrid Marred by Injury Crisis
Gareth Bale is set to miss the UEFA Champions League quarter-final against arch-rivals Atletico Madrid due to calf injury. The Welsh International was substituted just after five minutes in a 3-1 victory over Malaga. He was substituted by Mexican Javier Hernandez.
“Bale has been diagnosed with a muscular injury in his left soleus. His condition will be evaluated,” his club said in a statement.
This season, Gareth Bale has played 45 games for the club in all competitions. Real Madrid has won 30 times this season when he is in side, while losing 9 and drawing on 4 occasions.
Croatian international Luka Modric is also out for the Los Blancos as he suffered knee ligament injury against Malaga on Saturday. The midfielder won’t be available for 6 weeks.
However, Real coach Carlo Ancelotti is hoping France striker Karim Benzema will return after missing Saturday’s win at the Bernabeu with a knee injury.
Brazil left-back Marcelo is also suspended for the home side, meaning Portugal international Fabio Coentrao will start. All of these players are set to miss the second-leg of the UEFA Champions League quarterfinal.
For Atletico, there is good news as Diego Simone welcomes back the Croatian international striker Mario Mandzukic. The former Bayern Munich striker missed Atletico Madrid’s 2-0 victory over Deprotivo La Coruna due to an ankle problem. On the contrary, midfielder Mario Suarez will be suspended for the Madrid Derby.
Smalling Vows To Stay At Old Trafford
In other news, Manchester United and England defender Chris Smalling has just signed a new contract with the club. This contract will keep him at Old Trafford till June 2019. Smalling has been a relevation this season.
Apart from performing at the back, he has had a good season scoring goals for fun. His recent goal was against Manchester City in the Manchester Derby taking his tally to 4 goals in Barclays Premier League. He is tied with Chelsea’s defender Branislav Ivanovic has the highest goal-scoring defender in the league this season.