Still shaken by the refereeing of Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea in the league tie recorded last weekend in Seville, Real Madrid resumes its fight for the Champions League by visiting the Municipal Stadium of Braga for the first time in its history. An a priori favorable scenario for Carlo Ancelotti to review his wardrobe thinking about Saturday’s classic at the Lluis Companys Olympic Stadium, which is already monopolizing all the spotlights, even though the Italian coach instills in his pupils the need to avoid distractions. in the white fetish tournament.
The agonizing victory achieved on the first day of the Champions League against Union Berlin with a goal from Bellingham in stoppage time and the victorious assault on the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium on the second date of the highest continental competition thanks to a comeback led by the Stourbridge’s all-rounder have placed Real Madrid in a privileged situation ahead of their duel with Braga, a team that is going through its best moment of the season after winning five consecutive victories in all competitions and that maintains its chances of overcoming for the first time intact. the group stage in their third participation in the Champions League, after defeating Union Berlin in extra time before the national team break
Third classified in group C, but with the same points as Naples, the Spanish Sporting de Braga of Abel Ruiz, Víctor Gómez, Adrián Marín and Álvaro Djaló aspires to surprise this Tuesday taking advantage of the fact that the king of Europe has to divide its attention this week between the competition that is the backbone of the whites’ legend and the dog-eat-dog confrontation that will take place on Saturday in Montjuic with a Barça that is already on its heels in the League.
Unlike what happens in the Champions League, where it has enough margin to counteract a hypothetical setback in what is known as the city of archbishops, Real Madrid cannot afford a false step in the domestic championship and will need to put all its effort into the grill to defend the leadership in the Barça fiefdom. Hence, rotations are expected in Ancelotti’s eleven.
The Italian coach, who is out due to Ceballos’ injury and left Arda Güler in Madrid so that the Turk can get the necessary tone for his expected debut with the Chamartín team, recovers Nacho, absent due to suspension in the last two games in the League but a starter in the previous two days of the Champions League.
The man from Alcala is called upon to occupy the axis of the defense alongside Alaba to give breathing room to Rüdiger, who has played everything since Militao fell in combat in the first game of the season. Lucas Vázquez and Fran García could break into the wings, where Carvajal’s brilliance contrasts with the shadows cast by Mendy. With Bellingham fixed in the center of the field, it could be a good opportunity for Camavinga to act as a pivot and perhaps even allow Modric and Kroos to start together, despite the bitter memory offered by their cohabitation in the eleven that jumped out a month ago. to the Metropolitan.
The Spanish Benzema
On the Portuguese side, much of the attention will be on the figure of Abel Ruiz. The Valencian striker, all-time top scorer in the Spanish national team’s youth ranks and well regarded by Luis de la Fuente, who called him up for the September clashes against Georgia and Cyprus, chose La Masia over La Fábrica at the age of 12 to develop a talent that, almost a decade later, has ended up making him one of the idols of Braga fans.
In January 2020, the ‘Guerreiros do Minho’ agreed with Barça on a loan with mandatory purchase at the end of that campaign, which has been clearly beneficial for the Bracarense squad. Since then, this striker who has always been compared to Benzema for his associative ability has scored 32 goals and 18 assists in 154 games, and will try to add to those records against a Madrid that must avoid another slip to reach the classic without a hitch. .
Braga: Matheus, Borja, Niakaté, Serdar Saatçi, Mendes, Al Musrati, Zalazar, Bruma, Djaló, Ricardo Horta and Abel Ruiz.
Real Madrid: Kepa, Lucas Vázquez, Nacho, Alaba, Fran García, Camavinga, Modric, Kroos, Bellingham, Joselu and Vinicius.
Referee: Michael Oliver (England).
Time: 9:00 p.m.
Stadium: Braga Municipal.
TV: Movistar Champions League.
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