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Mixed news for Zidane ahead of key Champions League clash

Zinedine Zidane

Madrid, Spain | XINHUA |   There was mixed news for Real Madrid ahead of the side’s vital Champions League trip away to Inter Milan on Wednesday night.

Although central midfielder Casemiro is available for the game after overcoming the coronavirus and giving a negative test result on Monday, central defender Eder Militao returned an ‘inconclusive’ test result and again misses out.

That means Zinedine Zidane will have to probably continue with Nacho Fernandez and Raphael Varane at the heart of his side’s defense against a rival that was unlucky to lose 3-2 in Madrid in the first meeting between the two teams three weeks ago.

Sergio Ramos is still out with a hamstring injury, while Karim Benzema misses out again with a muscle problem. So does Alvaro Odriozola, while Fede Valverde is recovering from a cracked shin and Luka Jovic is also out with COVID-19.

The absences limit Zidane’s options of rotating his squad after the weekend’s 1-1 draw in Villarreal and mean Mariano Diaz will probably lead the Real Madrid attack after scoring his side’s goal at the weekend.

Inter is without left back Aleksandar Kolarov, who also has the coronavirus, but will have striker Romelu Lukaku available after the Belgian international missed the first meeting between the two teams due to injury.

Lukaku has nine goals from nine appearances in all competitions this season and will be Inter’s main threat on Wednesday.

Defeat for Real Madrid would leave Zidane’s side in a delicate position in qualifying Group B with just five points from four games, and would mean they had to win their last two matches away to Shakhtar Donetsk and at home to Borussia Monchengladbach.

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XINHUA

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