Champions League: Differing Needs For Spanish Sides In Continental Action

(MENAFN- IANS) Madrid (Spain), Dec 11 (IANS) Real Madrid, Real Sociedad and Sevilla are in Champions League action on Tuesday, with each team having different needs from each match.

Real Madrid will travel to play Union Berlin, and with Carlo Ancelotti's side already assured of finishing top of Group C, the coach will rest regular starters, such as Jude Bellingham and Toni Kroos and give minutes to players such as Dani Ceballos and Fran Garcia, with Kepa likely to return in goal after Andriy Lunin was preferred for Saturday's LaLiga match away to Betis.

Real Sociedad need to avoid defeat away to Inter Milan in their last group match if they want to finish top of Group D and ensure they play the return leg of the first knockout stage at home, reports Xinhua.

The side from San Sebastian was impressive in its 3-0 win away to Villarreal on Saturday but lost influential midfielder, Brais Mendez after he was kicked by Villarreal midfielder, Etienne Capoue during the game and broke a bone in his arm.

Mendez will have an operation on his arm, while Ander Barrenetxea also misses out with an ankle injury, he suffered a week ago away to Osasuna.

Sevilla travel to Lens with no chance of reaching the knockout stage of the competition after losing 3-2 at home to PSV Eindhoven two weeks ago. That result means Sevilla have to win in France to ensure a place in the Europa League in the New Year.

A 1-0 defeat in Mallorca on the weekend means Sevilla have still to win in either La Liga or in Europe since Diego Alonso replaced Jose Luis Mendilibar as coach two months ago, and rumours in the press are that the only reason he remains in his job is that nobody else wants it.

Alonso is without 14 first-team players for Tuesday's game with Fernando and Lucas Ocampos suspended after red cards a fortnight ago, while others such as Joan Jordan, Suso, Erik Lamela and Dodi Lukebakio are injured, with Lukebakio twisting a knee ligament against Mallorca.

Sevilla will take an 18-man squad to France for the game and the former Uruguay boss needs to see commitment from his players to have any chance of saving his job.




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