Real Madrid coach earmarks Khedira as replacement for Modric

Reuters, Friday 21 Nov 2014

Sami Khedira
Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira (Photo: Reuters)

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said it was a big blow to lose Luka Modric to a long-term injury, but he hopes to have Sami Khedira fit to take his place in midfield against Eibar on Saturday.

Khedira has made few starts this season, having suffered with a succession of injuries and been out of favour for not signing a new contract.

Yet the door has reopened for the Germany international after Modric picked up a thigh injury playing for Croatia against Italy last Sunday that could sideline him for three months.

Ancelotti appears to have earmarked Khedira to replace Modric, who has been a key player for Real as they moved two points clear at the top of La Liga.

"The loss (of Modric) is important and he is now recovering. We don’t know exactly when he will be ready to return but we should have some news in the next few days,” Ancelotti told a news conference.

 “He is a big player for the team but we need to be positive as the squad has a lot of quality. We are able to cover for him with other players.

 “I am not sure yet who will now play instead of him. I have the classic option of Khedira or otherwise I can pick Isco. Khedira has played two consecutive matches after injury and so it depends whether he is fit. If he is ready then I will play him, if not then it will be Isco.”

Isco has been in good form and did well on the wing in the absence of the injured Gareth Bale, but when the Welshman returned to the starting lineup for their last La Liga match against Rayo Vallecano, he found himself back on the bench.

Even two strong games playing for Spain against Belarus and Germany this month were not be enough to guarantee him a place in the Real team.

"I have not spoken to him because I know what he thinks and he wants to play,” said Ancelotti.

"He doesn’t have a problem adapting to other positions and has done so in the past. If we play the same formation as we have done in recent games then he is able to take the place of Modric."

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