February 13, (THEWILL) – Real Madrid will be without star midfielder Jude Bellingham for their UEFA Champions League round-of-16 first-leg match away to RB Leipzig on Tuesday.
The 20-year-old England international, who has scored 20 goals in 31 appearances this season, suffered an ankle injury during Real’s 4-0 La Liga victory over Girona on Saturday. Bellingham was forced off after scoring twice and did not travel with the squad to Germany.
Manager Carlo Ancelotti remains confident his side can cope without Bellingham, who has rapidly become one of their key players. “We have won four out of four games without him,” said Ancelotti. “Those who have replaced him have done very well.”
Leipzig boss Marco Rose, who coached Bellingham at Borussia Dortmund, is sceptical that the midfielder will miss out. “I won’t believe that Jude will be out until he’s not in the stadium tomorrow,” said Rose. “I know Jude, I know that he will do everything to play a Champions League game.”
Even without Bellingham, Ancelotti has plenty of talent to choose from. Yet, Rose insists his side will not be intimidated by Real’s star-studded squad. “We’re certainly not afraid,” Rose said, adding: “We will give everything and look for our opportunities.”
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Jude Obafemi is a versatile senior Correspondent at THEWILL Newspapers, excelling in sourcing, researching, and delivering sports news stories for both print and digital publications.