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Real Madrid suffer huge blow as key defender is ruled out for UCL semi-final vs Chelsea

May 3, 2021 By Ali M.
Zidane has lost another key player to injury in the build-up to Los Blancos' crucial Stamford Bridge trip.

Real Madrid are gearing up for their crucial UEFA Champions League showdown with Chelsea, with the Spanish giants need an excellent performance at Stamford Bridge in order to secure their spot in the final at Istanbul. Unfortunately, Los Blancos have been rocked by a huge injury blow as one key player looks to miss the trip to London.

That man is none other than Raphael Varane, Los Merengues World Cup-winning center-back. While the Frenchman has had a few shaky seasons at the Bernabeu as of late, the 28-year-old remains a key figure in Zidane's backline and will thus be missed on Wednesday.

The Frenchman unfortunately picked up a muscular issue over the weekend in the league win over Osasuna. After feeling some distress, Zidane opted to take off the defender as a precautionary measure, with tests later revealing that the injury is severe enough to rule him out for the midweek European tie.

This comes at a horrible time for the Spanish giants. Dani Carvajal and Lucas Vazquez are already sidelined, and while Sergio Ramos and Ferland Mendy are back from injury and in contention for the second leg, doubts linger over whether they will be 100 percent fit to start.

Ramos has only played 125 minutes since mid-January, hence the concerns about his fitness. It will be interesting to see how Zidane cope's with this latest injury crisis given that he overcame Liverpool and Barcelona while missing several key players. However, unlike in those two cases, Real Madrid head into the second leg with a disadvantage, having drawn 1-1 at home in the first leg. Benzema and Co. must now score an away goal against Tuchel's rock-solid defense or their European campaign will come to an end.

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