Major boost for Real Madrid as two injured stars return to face Girona


Vinicius Junior and Antonio Rudiger have returned to Real Madrid’s squad for the top-of-the-table La Liga clash against Girona on Saturday, February 10.

League leaders Los Blancos are set to host second-placed Girona in a pulsating showdown. Carlo Ancelotti’s team have 58 points from 23 matches and Girona trail them by two points.

Ahead of the highly-anticipated showdown, Los Merengues have their most impactful attacker back. Rudiger, meanwhile, has been a rock at the back for the entire season.

Vinicius Junior couldn’t participate in the recent Madrid derby, which ended 1-1, after suffering a knock in the warm-up. The Brazilian has scored 11 goals and provided five assists in 20 appearances across competitions this season. He is in the squad and that should serve as a massive boost for Ancelotti’s side against a solid Girona side.

Antonio Rudiger, meanwhile, has been exceptional at the back this term. In 30 appearances across competitions, the German has helped Real Madrid keep 13 clean sheets. Los Blancos have conceded just 15 goals in La Liga this season, making them the best defense in the league.

Rudiger was not in the squad for the Madrid derby. While he is back against Girona, Nacho Fernandez is not a part of the team.

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti says clash against Girona won’t decide the fate of the league

Considering that Real Madrid vs. Girona is a top-of-the-table clash, the game can have a massive impact on the league’s fate. Ancelotti, however, doesn’t think it would decide the league winner.

He acknowledged that with a win, any of the two teams would gain a significant advantage. But Ancelotti doesn’t think a defeat would be a seminal blow to the other team as he said (via Los Blancos’ website):

“Whoever wins tomorrow will gain the advantage, but there is still a long way to go in the league. Both teams are very well positioned and tomorrow’s game won’t decide the league but who will have an advantage over the others.”

He added:

“I don’t think the league will be decided tomorrow no matter what happens. Both teams have high points and the sooner we get to 80 points, the sooner we can win the league. You don’t win the league with 80 points, but if you get close as soon as possible, you’re very close.”

Real Madrid have been extremely sound this season, conceding only 15 goals while Girona have conceded only 25. Hence, a battle between two structured sides could be on the cards.

Edited by Aditya Singh

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