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Eder Militao set to return for Real Madrid after seven-month absence

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 30 Mar 2024

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Eder Militao could return for the first time in seven months as Real Madrid look to tighten their grip on the LaLiga title race against Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.

The Brazilian picked up a cruciate ligament injury on the opening day of the season against the same club, but has been named in the matchday squad by head coach Carlo Ancelotti.

However Ancelotti warned not to expect too much of the centre-back, saying: “He’s available, he’s trained well, but obviously he’s not 100 per cent fit because he hasn’t played football.

“Militao is a very important player who helps us in many areas of the game. I wouldn’t rule him out completely. If we don’t go with Militao, either Nacho or (Aurelien) Tchouameni will play.”

Ancelotti will also have keeper Thibaut Courtois available after a long-term knee injury, but star striker Vinicius Junior is absent after picking up a one-game ban for his fifth booking of the season in last week’s win over Osasuna.

Jude Bellingham is also likely to return for the league leaders after missing the last two games following his red card against Valencia, as well as a minor ankle injury.

Real go into the game against their fourth-placed opponents on the back of two straight wins and Ancelotti added: “We’re feeling confident but we have to bear in mind that we’re playing against a team that’s having a great season.

“We’re feeling good and we have all the confidence in the world to perform well.”

Meanwhile, Ancelotti went on to dismiss renewed speculation that star midfielder Luka Modric could be leaving the Bernabeu at the end of the current season.

The 38-year-old’s contract runs out at the end of the current campaign, but Ancelotti insisted: “Everyone is talking about next season except us.

“Luka is focused and what we want to do is finish the season strongly and compete until the end. We’ll deal with the future of the players when the season is over. Nobody is interested in talking about his future now.”

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