Real Madrid have suffered a massive blow as defender Raphael Varane has been ruled out of the Liverpool game after testing positive for Covid, as officially announced by the club.
The centre-back was a guaranteed starter for the Los Blancos in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals on Tuesday but he’s tested positive on the morning of the match.
Real said in a statement on their official website, as quoted by The Standard: “Real Madrid C. F. informs that our player Raphael Varane tested positive in the COVID-19 test he underwent this morning.”
This is a massive blow for Zinedine Zidane since Sergio Ramos is already unavailable with an injury and now with Varane also sidelined, the manager might have to alter his formation on Tuesday night.
Everyone was certain that Zidane was going to use a back-four against Liverpool with Raphael Varane and Nacho playing in central defence. But now with the Frenchman out of action, the Real Madrid manager might have to shift to a back-five, including two wing-backs.
BREAKING: Real Madrid confirm Raphael Varane has tested positive for COVID-19.
— B/R Football (@brfootball) April 6, 2021
Against Eibar, Real Madrid played in a 3-5-2 system with Mendy playing as a centre-back alongside Militao and Nacho and the same ploy is likely to be used against Liverpool as well.
This change also means Marcelo will get a chance to start and contribute in attack, something that might just be a blessing in disguise for the Spanish side.
Raphael Varane will not only miss the first-leg on Tuesday but he’s also going to be absent for the El Classico in Barcelona on Saturday.