Real Madrid are scheduled to face Inter Milan in tonight’s Champions League clash at San Siro.
Los Blancos have struggled during the first half of their group stage campaign and they are presently third on the table with four points.
However, they still have their destiny in their own hands and are just one point behind Borussia Monchengladbach, who are top of Group B.
Later tonight, they will come up against the Nerazzurri, whom they beat in the reverse fixture at the Bernabeu by a 3-2 scoreline.
Antonio Conte’s side are presently bottom of the standings with just two points and Los Blancos can anticipate a testing challenge on their hands.
The 13-time European champions will have to do without key players in Sergio Ramos (muscle) and Karim Benzema (adductor) due to injuries.
Three players to watch out for:
Romelu Lukaku – Inter Milan:
The Belgian is obviously the Nerazzurri’s main goalscoring source and he has netted 43 goals from 60 appearances in all competitions since joining them from Manchester United last year.
Lukaku recently went on a nine-match scoring streak in Europe (11 goals) before he drew blank in the goalless stalemate against Shakhtar Donetsk. He was unavailable for the trip to the Bernabeu earlier this month after picking up an adductor problem.
In Ramos’ absence, there is a potential point of weakness in Los Blancos’ central defence and Lukaku will be aiming to pounce on any flaws in the box with his strong aerial ability. He could also bring fellow striker Lautaro Martinez into the game with his intelligent link-up play.
Eden Hazard – Real Madrid:
Lukaku’s compatriot Eden Hazard has experienced a slow start to his Real Madrid career, having been hampered by multiple injury setbacks since joining them from Chelsea last year.
He has netted just the solitary goal from his four games this season, but that came through a stellar left-footed strike from outside the box against Huesca in the league last month.
Hence, the quality of the former Blues star can’t be doubted and he has the opportunity to stand up in the absence of talismanic striker Karim Benzema, who was the only player to hit double figures with goals from open play for Los Blancos last term.
Raphael Varane – Real Madrid:
The 2018 World Cup winner has the added responsibility on Tuesday night in the absence of fellow centre-back Sergio Ramos, who has been huge influence on both ends of the playing field this season.
He is set to be accompanied by utility player Nacho at the heart of the defence with Eder Militao also unavailable for the game due to the lack of fitness after testing positive for the coronavirus at the start of the month.
Varane has the task of handling the physical presence of Romelu Lukaku and the duel could potentially decide the outcome of the clash. Varane previously tackled Lukaku in the 2018 World Cup semi-final where he picked up a clean sheet in France’s 1-0 win over Belgium.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com