Thursday, April 25, 2024

Jude Bellingham back and ‘at 100 per cent’ as Real Madrid take on Valencia

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 1 Mar 2024

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Jude Bellingham is fit to face Valencia with Carlo Ancelotti confirming the midfielder will feature for Real Madrid on Saturday.

The England star has been sidelined with an ankle injury but is available for the LaLiga clash at the Mestalla.

Bellingham, who has 21 goals for club and country this season, has been out since suffering the injury against title rivals Girona in February and has missed Real’s last three games.

Ancelotti said: “He’s at 100 per cent. He hasn’t trained too much with the team but he’s done all he needs to on an individual basis.

“He’s in good shape, optimum physical condition and he’s comfortable with his ankle. He’s up for it and will play.

“The team has trained well and (Dani) Carvajal, (Eduardo) Camavinga, Joselu and Bellingham will all be back. We want to deliver a positive display. The key moments in the season come in March and April and confidence is high.

“We have options. Picking a starting XI is always tough. There are several players who are contributing very well and deserve to play. I haven’t had too many difficult decisions to make up until now because we’ve always had so many injuries.”

Real are six points clear at the top of LaLiga having lost just once in the league this season, to rivals Atletico Madrid in September.

They beat Valencia, who are ninth, 5-1 at home in November but have struggled at the Mestalla recently.

Real have only won one of their last five trips to Valencia, including last year’s 1-0 defeat, with Ancelotti wary of the threat their hosts have.

He said: “The closer we get to the end of the season, the more important the games become. Real Madrid have always struggled at Mestalla because it’s a tough place to go against opposition enjoying a good run. Of course, we’ll have to be at our best.

“The plan is to play a great football match and I’m sure Valencia are thinking the same. That’s what the fans and players want ahead of the game, an entertaining spectacle.

“It’s one of the biggest. But all are important, including the three points against Sevilla. Picking up points at this stage of the season is hugely important. Every team needs the points to fight for top spot, the Champions League places or against relegation.”

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