Why isn’t Nacho playing for Real Madrid against Mallorca in LaLiga?

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Real Madrid haven’t had their troubles to seek this season in central defence. In the first very game of the campaign, Eder Militão, an undisputed first pick, tore his anterior cruciate ligament, which David Alaba also did in the penultimate match of 2023 against Villarreal. WIth Los Blancos having opted not to strengthen in that position last summer, Antonio Rüdiger and Nacho are the only two senior centre-backs who are fit ahead of their first LaLiga fixture of 2024 against Mallorca on Wednesday.

Nacho serves second suspension of the season

However, Carlo Ancelotti will only be able to call upon the German international, with Nacho starting the year by serving a one-match suspension. The Madrid club captain was sent off in the narrow victory over Alavés on 21 December, receiving a straight red card (after a VAR check) for trodding on Samu Omorodion’s heel.

The 33-year-old also saw red earlier in the season for an ugly challenge on Girona’s Portu, on that occasion being handed a three-match ban for the severity of the challenge. This time, however, the Spanish Soccer Federation’s competition committee ruled Nacho’s challenge was “forceful” but that he hadn’t intended to catch Omorodion the way he did, leading to a “standard” one-game suspension.

With Rüdiger the only recognised central defender available to Ancelotti, midfielder Aurélien Tchouaméni is set to slot into the back four against Mallorca, which he himself has admitted he doesn’t like doing. Youth-team player Álvaro Carrillo has been called into the matchday squad and will take up a place on the bench.

When will Alaba and Militão be back playing for Real Madrid?

Alaba isn’t expected to play against until 2024-25, although the hope is that Militão will be back playing in March, just in time for the business end of the season. Short on numbers in central defender, Madrid have been linked with moves for a number of players in the January transfer window, included former player Raphaël Varane, not guaranteed a starting spot at Manchester United, and youngsters Robert Renan of Zenit Saint Petersburg and Gonçalo Inácio of Sporting CP.

First appeared on en.as.com

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