Bellingham available for Real Madrid in Champions League match against Braga
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 injured his left shoulder in the Spanish league match against Rayo Vallecano on Sunday, but he trained on Tuesday and was included in the squad list.
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.
Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said Bellingham “didn’t show any problems today” in training. The midfield player was taken out for parts of the practice session to avoid any knocks on the shoulder.
“It’s probable that he plays, but he will be evaluated again tomorrow," Ancelotti said.
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 Vinícius Júnior contributing three goals and Rodrygo two.
Defender Ferland Mendy has a muscle ailment but was in the squad for the game at the Bernabeu.
Ancelotti may give a debut to midfielder Arda Güler, 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 team has never advanced past the group stage. It is making its third Champions League appearance, and first in 11 seasons.
Ancelotti defended Vinícius despite criticism from opponents that the Brazil international confronts players and referees too much during matches.
“Maybe he has to improve his attitude in certain situations, but he has already improved a lot, and is still improving," Ancelotti said. "We are thrilled with him.”
Madrid extended the contract of France midfielder Eduardo Camavinga until the end of the 2028-29 season.
The 20-year-old Camavinga arrived at Madrid from Rennes in 2021 and has helped the club win six trophies, including a Champions League and a Spanish league.
He has made 114 appearances with Madrid.
Madrid recently had extended the contract of Vinícius until 2027 and of fellow Brazil forward Rodrygo until 2028.
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