Saturday 18 November 2017

ron to make real return

Cristiano Ronaldo makes his return from a two-match suspension when Real Madrid visit basement side Xerez tonight.

The former Manchester United star -- who will partner Gonzalo Higuain in attack -- was sent-off after his swinging arm broke the nose of Malaga's Patrick Mtiliga in Madrid's 2-0 win last month.

Karim Benzema, Christoph Metzelder and Pepe are injured for the game but Ezequiel Garay and Marcelo have overcome problems and are available.

Meanwhile, Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola is likely to promote a youth team player to play at right-back with five first-team defenders injured or suspended when they take on Atletico Madrid tomorrow.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is looking to end a goal-scoring drought. He has only netted once in his last 10 matches in all competitions.

Atletico Madrid qualified for the King's Cup final on Thursday after beating Racing Santander 6-3 on aggregate, and will celebrate the achievement with their own fans at the Calderon against the La Liga leaders.

Elsewhere, Villarreal's new coach Juan Carlos Garrido has injury problems for when Athletic Bilbao visit tonight.

Goalkeeper Diego Lopez and defender Joan Capdevila are injury doubts, while striker Joseba Llorente and midfielder Bruno Soriano are suspended.

Irish Independent

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