Real Madrid asks for samba to take care of their wrench

Real Madrid has been moving to the rhythm of the Beatles all season, but they also need a good helping of samba so as not to lose their joy on the way to the round of 16 of the Champions League. The battered left shoulder of Jude Bellingham, who was included in Carlo Ancelotti’s squad for this Wednesday’s duel against Braga although it remains a serious doubt, requires a step forward from Vinicius and Rodrygo. Two footballers whose loss of sense of smell has been compensated in the first part of the course by the phenomenal display of artillery manufactured in Stourbridge, but who must regain their sense so that the Chamartín team can protect that wrench that has allowed them to tighten so many nuts .

Bellingham’s health has become a matter of state for Real Madrid, which owes the British rifleman 44.8% of the 29 goals scored by the Whites in the fifteen official matches played to date. Hence, Ancelotti must be very careful after the ‘5’ caused a scare last Sunday against Rayo. Without the former Borussia Dortmund player, a physical marvel and a born competitor who does not want to miss even a party, there seems to be no paradise for the whites. But with the ticket that gives access to the first round of qualifying of the highest continental competition practically in hand, it seems common sense for Carletto to opt for prudence and leave his flagship on the starting bench and place the Brazilian duo as the figurehead of a team that would even need a draw to finish off the task against a Braga that was poisonous in the vanguard but timid in the rearguard.

Bellingham’s illness is not serious, but it is treacherous. Brahim suffered a dislocated shoulder in the Metropolitano derby, went in to play three days later against UD Las Palmas and still has discomfort in the area. Diving further back in time, Sergio Ramos also suffered in his Real Madrid flesh the repercussions that an injury can bring that allows him to play with pain but that limits certain movements, generates fear of suffering a new blow in the area and can go further. Real Madrid has room to grant him a truce in the Champions League but his competition seems vital in the League, so if Ancelotti listens to logic, it is most likely that the fight against Braga will become a new validation for two stars in low hours.

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Rodrygo and Vinicius have reduced their scoring contribution by two thirds compared to the previous year. From the 17 goals they scored between them last season, at this point they have gone down to five in the current one. Their number of assists has also been greatly reduced: from the ten they distributed before the World Cup in Qatar, they have gone down to three on their record since the current campaign raised the curtain. Away from the band, without the protective wing of Benzema and in the shadow of Bellingham, they begin to be pilloried and the lawsuit against Braga offers them another opportunity to vindicate themselves as they did two weeks ago in Portugal, where Rodrygo put an end to a drought of eleven games without scoring and Vinicius scored the two goals that gave Real Madrid a victory that could have been peaceful, but ended up being agonizing.

The Ottoman pearl seeks to come out of its shell

Ancelotti, who maintains the absences of Ceballos and Tchouaméni but recovers Mendy, summoned Nico Paz and Arda Güler again. The Turk, who dazzles in training, could have his baptism at a Bernabéu eager to gauge first-hand the brilliance of the young Ottoman pearl. Camavinga, warned of sanction, will once again share the handle with Kroos and Modric can act as Bellingham.

Braga lands at the Chamartín venue with high morale. The good image that he offered in the final stretch of the fight fought in his fiefdom two weeks ago with Real Madrid is added to the rout (6-1) that he gave Portimonense last Saturday in the Portuguese league. Artur Jorge arrives at the event without casualties and will seek to make a splash in the Spanish capital to keep his chances of qualifying intact before hosting Union Berlin on the penultimate matchday and closing the group stage by visiting Naples at the Diego Armando Maradona.

-Probable alignments:

Real Madrid: Kepa, Carvajal, Rüdiger, Nacho, Mendy, Camavinga, Valverde, Kroos, Modric, Rodrygo and Vinicius.

Braga: Matheus, Borja, Oliveira, Fonte, Víctor Gómez, Al Musrati, Zalazar, Bruma, Álvaro Djaló, Ricardo Horta and Banza.

Referee: Halil Umut Meler (Türkiye).

Time: 9:00 p.m.

Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.

TV: Movistar Champions League.

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