On Sunday night, Real Madrid will battle Atletico Madrid for the second time this season, and while the stakes are not as high as they were during their dominant 2-0 win at the Santiago Bernabeu, every El Derbi is important to Los Blancos.
Heavy rotations are expected, though, with LaLiga already won and the team needing to be managed carefully after their grueling 120 minutes against Manchester City this past Wednesday night.
Thus, Dani Ceballos was expected to start in midfield to help give the full trio of Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, and Casemiro a rest on LaLiga’s Matchday 35. Isco could have also received an opportunity, having stood out in his own right recently.
Unfortunately, COPE’s Arancha Rodriguez reports that neither midfielder will be available for Real Madrid this Sunday night at the Wanda Metropolitano.
Real Madrid cannot rest ‘KCM’ against Atletico Madrid now
Whereas Isco is ill and thus out, Ceballos is dealing with a slightly more serious situation. The former Real Betis standout is injured and will miss the next two weeks.
That’s a huge blow for Ceballos personally. He was exceptional against both Osasuna and Espanyol recently, and it seems as though Real Madrid could keep him after he was once viewed as a total afterthought by Madridistas. A reunion with Betis seemed most likely, but now a longer stay at the Bernabeu is the expected outcome.
This injury should not change matters, but it does mean Ceballos has less time to impress, as he will also presumably miss matches against Levante and Cadiz that would have been prime for his skill-set, just as we saw against Osasuna and Espanyol (Real beat those teams thanks to Ceballos but did not beat them in their earlier meetings).
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As for El Derbi, the blows to Ceballos and Isco in the Real Madrid midfield mean that one of Modric, Casemiro, or Kroos likely has to start against Atletico Madrid with Fede Valverde and Eduardo Camavinga being the other two midfielders.