After finally finding their rhythm under new manager Rafael Benitez, Real Madrida s fortunes could take a turn for the worse after the team suffered a series of critical injuries that could dampen the mood at Santiago Bernabeu. While Danilo and James Rodriguez picked up their injuries following their commitments with the national team, Gareth Bale, Sergio Ramos and Varane suffered a knock in their opening Champions League fixture against Shakhtar Donetsk.
Gareth Bale suffered a calf injury at Santiago Bernabeu and was promptly taken off the field even though the extent of the damage has not yet been made public. Promoted to a number 10 role under Rafa Benitez, Bale seemed to be relishing his new role since the start of the season. However, having picked up an injury, the Welshman will remain unavailable for selection as Real Madrid host Granada on Saturday ahead of a series of crucial fixtures.
Gareth Balea s absence is further compounded due to James Rodrigueza s unavailability after he picked up a thigh injury while representing the Colombian national team. With both the midfielders ruled out for Real Madrida s next fixture, it is expected that Benitez will deploy Isco in an attacking role with Jese Rodriguez playing on the right flank. The manager could also opt to use new signing Kovacic in an attacking role, pushing Isco towards the right.
With both Bale and Rodriguez out injured, all eyes will be on Cristiano Ronaldo who has scored 8 goals in his last two games following a a slowa start to the season. Known for their blistering pace and defence splitting passes, the absence of the attacking duo is likely to have a toll on the team and could adversely affect Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema on the pitch. It will be interesting to see if Ronaldoa s game will be affected as the Portuguese takes centre stage in the absence of his prolific team-mates.
While the lack of attacking options is going to be a cause for worry for Benitez, the Spaniard is going to be equally concerned with the absence of three of his defenders- Danilo, Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane.
a Sergio Ramos (@SergioRamos) September 16, 2015
While Danilo picked up an injury in his right foot and is expected to be sidelined till October, Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane both received a knock each in the Champions League tie against Shakhtar Donetsk. Speaking after the game, Benitez expressed that he was optimistic about the injuries while claiming that the extent of the damage would be ascertained over the next few days.
“Bale had a cramp in his calf and we will have to wait a few days to know how serious this is. Varane and Ramos had knocks and I’m optimistic with them.”
While Marca claims that Varane is likely be available for the weekend fixture against Granada, Sergio Ramos suffered a grade-2 tear in his shoulder which is deemed as a near dislocation according to preliminary medical reports. With Ramos expected to be out for a minimum period of ten days, it seems that Raphael Varane will partner Pepe in the defence if the Frenchman can recover in time from his knock. However, in the absence of both the defenders, it will be interesting to see how the defence lines up on Saturday with Nacho expected to take his place in the back four.