Bellingham available for Real Madrid in Champions League match against Braga
Tue, Nov 7, 2023
Soccer News (AP)
MADRID (AP) - Real Madrid will have Jude Bellingham available for the Champions League match against Braga on Wednesday, when it will go for its fourth straight win in Group C.
Bellingham has been nursing an injury to his left shoulder sustained in the Spanish league match against Rayo Vallecano on Sunday, but he trained on Tuesday.
Madrid leads the group with nine points, three more than Napoli and six more than Braga.
Napoli hosts winless Union Berlin in the other group match on Wednesday. Madrid has qualified for the knockout rounds in all 27 of its previous campaigns.
When Bellingham trained with the rest of his teammates, he showed no apparent sign of pain. Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said the midfield player was taken out for parts of the practice session to avoid any knocks on the shoulder.
"I don't know if he will play, but he recovered well and didn't show any problems today," Ancelotti said. "It's probable that he plays, but he will be evaluated again tomorrow."
Bellingham was hurt after a fall about 10 minutes into the 0-0 draw against Rayo Vallecano at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. Team doctors put wrapping on the shoulder and he continued playing. Tests conducted on Monday showed no major injury.
Bellingham has been Madrid's best player since joining this season from Borussia Dortmund. The 20-year-old England international has participated in more than half of Madrid's goals. He has 13 goals in 14 matches with the Spanish club.
Having Bellingham in top form is key for Madrid, which won only once in the four games in which he failed to score.
The team's forwards have somewhat struggled in attack this season, with Vinicius Junior contributing three goals and Rodrygo two.
Also doubtful for the game at the Bernabeu because of muscle ailments were midfielder Dani Ceballos and defender Ferland Mendy.
Ancelotti may give a debut to midfielder Arda Guler, the 18-year-old Turkey international who was signed this season but sustained a knee injury shortly after arriving. He was on the bench against Rayo Vallecano.
Braga is expected to be at full strength. The Portuguese side has never advanced past the group stage. It is making its third Champions League appearance, and first in 11 seasons.
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