Real Madrid vs. PSG: 3 players who must step up with Toni Kroos out injured

Real Madrid, Toni Kroos (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Toni Kroos (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Eduardo Camavinga
Real Madrid, Eduardo Camavinga (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

Real Madrid already had a tough enough job to come from behind of a 1-0 deficit from the first leg of the Champions League Round of 16 clashes against PSG with both Carlos Casemiro and Ferland Mendy suspended for the match. I had already picked up the players who would need to step up their game to cover for these two experienced pillars to the side.

If that wasn’t a job difficult enough, another Real Madrid veteran, Toni Kroos picked up a hamstring injury in training and now is a major doubt for the game against PSG.  Here are the three players who’ll now have to work extra harder in covering for the seasoned campaigner.

3. CM Eduardo Camavinga

I was already onboard on Eduardo Camavinga getting a start in probably the most important match of the season so far since we’re confirmed about Casemiro missing the second leg. But, a few days into the confirmed suspension, a few other options stood out in playing that number 6 role. My colleague Sai here mentions some ways how Kroos could’ve been in that role alongside Luka Modric and one among Camavinga or Fede Valverde handling the creative duties.

But now that even Toni Kroos is a major doubt for the second leg, I think we can be sure about both Fede Valverde and Camavinga starting the game. Camavinga stands out as the most defensive-minded player among the three expected starters viz. Modric, Valverde and him. As such, I think we should expect to see Camavinga start slightly behind Luka Modric and Valverde in Real Madrid’s tried and tested 4-3-3 formation. I say so because I do not have any hope of experimentation from the Italian coach. He isn’t even rotating his squad as such a change in the system is too farfetched.

This means it’s a guaranteed start for the young Frenchman who bossed the likes of Marquinhos and Marco Veratti in a 2-1 home victory against the Parisians in the 2019/20 season in one of his career’s most memorable performances. Hopefully, he can repeat a similar performance as nothing short of his absolute best will do. He needs to step up big time and if he does end up making the difference here, he’d be counted among the best upcoming central midfielders, officially, if he isn’t yet. It is a very big opportunity knocking at the young man’s door, to say the least.