Real Madrid have been handed key fitness boosts ahead of tonight’s clash with Liverpool in the Champions League.

Real Madrid have been handed key fitness boosts ahead of tonight’s clash with Liverpool in the Champions League.

Ferland Mendy is in the squad after several weeks on the sidelines out injured and is joined by Karim Benzema for the last-16 second leg clash.

The 35-year-old striker sat out the weekend win over Espanyol with an ankle injury, but Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that Benzema is set to play despite the Clasico with Barcelona looming large on the horizon.

Real will not take the Reds’ visit lightly despite their three-goal aggregate lead from the first leg at Anfield.

Antonio Rudiger should return to the line-up after being rested against Espanyol and Mendy will hope to slot back in at left-back ahead of Nacho Fernandez and Eduardo Camavinga.

David Alaba remains absent.

Manchester United are dealing with mounting absentees amid continued talk regarding a potential takeover.

The Red Devils have slipped away from the title race in recent weeks and must now focus on consolidating their top four spot. Erik ten Hag’s first season has seen several strides made in the right direction. However the Dutchman will be without one of his key lieutenants in Casemiro over the coming weeks.

The Brazilian was sent-off in the draw with Southampton and the club have opted not to appeal his dismissal whilst there are also several casualties on the injury list. Off the pitch the Glazers are also weighing up their options with reports increasingly indicating they could seek a cash injection via a minority shareholder.

Here’s the latest from Old Trafford.

The Glazers are in a standoff with the prospective bidders for United after further delaying their deadline to complete a sale of the club.

The Americans are seeking either a full takeover or partial investment in the Red Devils. They have become deeply unpopular among supporters, with United last winning the Premier League title a decade ago, amid continued protests against their ownership.

Two groups have so far gone public with their bids for a full takeover – Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Qatari banker Shiekh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani. The process is now in its second stage, with presentations and meetings being held between representatives of the bidders and the Raine Group, who are overseeing the process on United’s behalf.

According to NBC Sports, the initial intention was for a sale or for investment to be confirmed by the end of the first quarter of this year. That deadline has now been pushed back.

United have been rocked by the news that the injury Alejandro Garnacho sustained in Sunday’s stalemate with Southampton is worse than initially feared.

Garnacho has made a big strides this term after breaking into the first-team picture under Ten Hag in recent months and even earned his first senior international call-up for Argentina last week.

The talented teenager could be seen struggling after he was on the receiving end of a heavy tackle from Kyle Walker-Peters during United’s drab 0-0 draw with the Saints at the weekend. And it appears as though Garnacho, who was seen leaving Old Trafford on crutches, could be set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines as a result of the incident.

The Reds went down 1-0 at the side fighting relegation, just six days after they’d smashed the Red Devils 7-0 at Anfield. Jurgen Klopp’s side conceded a first-half goal and were unable to breakdown their relegation-threatened opponents with Mohamed Salah missing from 12 yards.

It is a major blow to their top four hopes, which had been revived in recent weeks with the Merseysiders seemingly back to their best. Ferdinand though has called out the manner of their celebrations against United, before going on to suffer a surprise loss.

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On Wednesday night, Liverpool takes on Real Madrid in the Champions League round of 16 second leg, looking to somehow overturn a 5-2 deficit from the first leg at Anfield.

No team in the history of the competition has ever gone through after losing a home leg by three or more goals, and only one team (Manchester United versus PSG in 2019) has done so after a two-goal defeat on home soil.

One model devised by Twenty First Group (via Aurel Nazmiu) gives Liverpool just a five per cent chance of turning things around and progressing to the quarter-finals.

The Reds’ task has been made all the more difficult by absences, with an ill Jordan Henderson and an injured Stefan Bajčetić (who has traveled but is not expected to play) joining Thiago and Luis Díaz on the sidelines.

But Real Madrid has some fitness concerns of its own, with Ferland Mendy and David Alaba confirmed out and doubts around the status of one or two other players heading into the game.

Here, takes a scan around the other big sides in the Premier League and around Europe to take a look at the news going on at the other clubs.

Borussia Dortmund star Gio Reyna will return to the USMNT later this month, according to Washington Post journalist Steven Goff. Danielle Egan, Reyna’s mother, reported coach Gregg Berhalter to US Soccer over an incident with his wife in 1992.

Berhalter has admitted kicking her but an independent investigation has found that there is ‘no legal impediment to employing him’ as coach (via BBC Sport). Reyna was included in the US squad for the World Cup in Qatar but didn’t start any of his side’s four matches.

He was left on the bench for the group-stage games against Wales and Iran and only played seven minutes against England before coming on for the second half of the round-of-16 defeat to the Netherlands.

Berhalter criticized the 20-year-old for ‘not meeting expectations’ during the tournament. The USA is due to face Grenada on 20 March and El Salvador on 28 March in a pair of CONCACAF Nations League fixtures. says: Reyna is a hugely talented player, with 100 appearances, 15 goals and 14 assists already under his belt at Dortmund. He could potentially be an enormous asset to the USMNT, which is beginning preparations for a home World Cup in 2026, if off-field issues can be properly addressed.

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema ‘will be 100 per cent’ fit for the clash with Liverpool, manager Carlo Ancelotti says. Benzema was missing from the squad for Real’s 3-1 victory over Espanyol in La Liga last weekend because of an ankle problem.

But Ancelotti says that the Frenchman, who scored twice in the first leg at Anfield, returned to team training the day after the game and is completely ready to take on the Reds.

“On Wednesday, Karim Benzema will be 100 per cent,” he said in his pre-match press conference, via Get French Football News. “He came back for the collective training on Sunday, and he had done some good work sessions before.

“He’s at full strength, motivated. For Karim, for the club, this is a very important competition.” says: Benzema hasn’t quite hit the same heights this season as he did during his Ballon d’Or winning campaign last term, but he’s still scored 18 goals in 27 matches, and his inclusion makes Los Blancos an even more daunting opponent. Fit and firing, he could put the tie beyond Liverpool with his clinical finishing.

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