Sunday July 14, 2024

Real Madrid, Real Sociedad with advantage as Sevilla seeks lifeline

Published : 08 Nov 2023, 00:55

  DF News Desk
Vinicius Jr. (C) of Real Madrid vies with Isi Palazon (L) and Andrei Ratiu of Vallecano during a La Liga football match between Real Madrid and Rayo Vallecano in Madrid, Spain, Nov. 5, 2023. File Photo: Xinhua.

Real Madrid and Real Sociedad can both assure their places in the last-16 of the Champions League, but Sevilla's fate is up in the air, reported Xinhua.

Real Madrid entertains Sporting Braga, knowing that a win will put them into the knockout stage and has the advantage of allowing coach Carlo Ancelotti to rest players in his side's two remaining group games.

Jude Bellingham is a doubt after hurting his shoulder in Sunday's 0-0 draw at home to Rayo Vallecano.

Bellingham has 13 goals in all competitions, and with Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo both struggling to find the net on a regular basis this season, the game will test if there is a "Bellingham dependency" at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Meanwhile, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric will probably start in midfield, with Eduardo Camavinga in the holding role for the injured Aurelian Tchouameni.

Real Sociedad was frustrated to lose 1-0 to Barca in La Liga on Saturday.

The team from San Sebastian entertains Benfica after a 1-0 win in Lisbon a fortnight ago and three more points would qualify them for the knockout round if Inter Milan wins in Salzberg in the other Group D match.

Coach Imanol Alguacil won't make many changes to the side that was unlucky against Barcelona, although Aritz Elustondo will probably start at right back to replace Hamari Traore who was injured on Saturday night.

The Reale Arena will be full on Wednesday as the Basque outfit looks for their first home win in the Champions League since 2003, when they won 1-0 at home to Olympiakos.

They failed to win at home in their last participation in 2013 and their first game this season was a 1-1 draw at home to Inter Milan.

Sevilla travels to play Arsenal with just two points from three games, and a defeat would leave them depending on results elsewhere in Group B. Arsenal won 2-1 in the Sanchez Pizjuan two weeks ago.

Apart from a 3-0 win over sixth tier outfit, Quintanar, in the Copa del Rey last week, Sevilla still needs a convincing win since Diego Alonso replaced Jose Luis Mendilibar as coach.