Madrid, Nov 8 — Cristiano Ronaldo is a doubtful starter as Real Madrid prepares to face Real Sociedad at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium Saturday afternoon.
The Portuguese international failed to train Thursday after ending his side’s Champions league 2-2 draw away to Juventus with both of his ankles bandaged, reports Xinhua.
Given his past problems with his ankles and the fact that next week he has to play an important role in Portugal’s World Cup play-off against Sweden, the club may prefer not to risk him.
If Ronaldo doesn’t play, Carlo Ancelotti has other options and could decide to bring Angel di Maria back into the starting 11 or to give another chance to young striker Alvaro Morata, who has had to be content with watching games from the bench as Karim Benzema has improved his form in recent matches.
Speaking at a publicity event Thursday, Morata said he was not disappointed given that he had already made nine appearances this season which compared well with the 16 he made in the whole of the previous campaign.
“My aim is to keep learning. I think I’m young and my time is yet to come. What I want is to be prepared when it does,” said the Spain U-21 striker.
Another player who may be hoping for his chance is midfielder, Isco: the 30 million euros striker made an immediate impact on his arrival from Malaga, but physical issues have kept him out of the picture in recent matches. Meanwhile, Sergio Ramos is suspended after picking up five bookings and will be replaced by Dani Carvajal, who will slot in at right back.
Real Sociedad travel to the Bernabeu on the back of some improved form after an indifferent start to the season under new coach Jagoba Arrasate.
The club from San Sebastian has taken 10 points from its last four matches in the BBVA Primera Liga, climbing up to seventh in the table, while Wednesday saw them draw 0-0 at home to Manchester United in the Champions League.
While the result just about sees them out of that competition, it should mean an injection of pride ahead of an always difficult game in Madrid and Arrasate appeared to be thinking more about his side’ s league prospects when he took winger Antoine Griezmann and midfielder Ruben Pardo out of the action with the result still in the balance.
With 6 goals in his last 4 league appearances Griezmann is Real Sociedad’ s main threat, while Pardo has matured this season and is highly effective from set pieces.
Madrid have been scoring goals with ease of late, but that have also shipped goals thanks to some shambolic defending. If Carlos Ancelotti can find the balance he has talked about Madrid should have few problems taking the points, but if they are without Ronaldo and the defensive chaos again reigns, maybe the visitors can sneak a point.