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Real Madrid vs. Elche preview – Ronaldo red card decision could be costly

Posted on February 22, 2014 by admin

Real Madrid will host lowly Elche at the Santiago Bernabeu, but the result is not as straighforward as you would think. For one thing, Carlo Ancelotti has had his preparations for today’s game disrupted by a baffling decision by the panel set up to make rulings on all sorts of disciplinary cases.

The Italian manager had expected them to decide this morning that the three match ban given to Ronaldo for the slightest of touches on the captain of Bilbao a couple of weeks ago was too harsh. So Ancelotti had prepared for the game with Ronaldo in the team, but the three game ban was upheld.

With Luka Modric suspended for the game and Sergio Ramos expected to be left out because he is one card away from being suspended for the crunch game against La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid next week, Ronaldo’s absence is the last thing Real Madrid needed. Rafael Varane, just back from a long injury lay-off, will partner Pepe at the back, while the front three will probably be Bale, Benzema and Jese.

With Modric out, maybe Ancelotti will give Di Maria another chance in the middle with Alonso and Illarramendi behind him. The other option is Isco, but the youngster has not been in good form recently. Elche will be fired up after they were on the end of an awful decision against Madrid earlier in the season, but as long as the players have the right attitude, Real should be taking all three points.

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