You'll have to forgive Jose Mourinho if he has a renewed hatred of the international breaks after the latest round of World Cup qualifiers turned his squad in to a MASH unit. With as many as seven players potentially unavailable, Madrid's match against newly promoted Celta Vigo could be a little more problematic.
Marcelo, Arbeloa and Coentrão are all out, while Sami Khedira, Raphaël Varane, Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuaín will likely face fitness tests ahead of the match to determine their availability. That's a lot of injury issues for Mourinho and with Madrid already a lot farther behind Barcelona than they'd like to be in the table, the prospect of dropping any more points just isn't an option.
Fortunately for Madrid, they host Celta Vigo and they haven't lost at home in 15 league matches. Celta Vigo have yet to win an away match this season, with three loses under their belts. Despite that, they have acquitted themselves well after earning promotion and sit somewhat comfortably in 12th place in the table.
That last meeting between these two sides was on February 29, 2004 when Madrid won 4-2 at the Bernabéu.
Real Madrid injuries and suspensions
Out: Marcelo (foot), Alvaro Arbeloa (hamstring, Fábio Coentrão (groin). In doubt: Sami Khedira (muscle), Raphaël Varane (muscle), Karim Benzema (muscle), Gonzalo Higuaín (ankle).
Celta Vigo injuries and suspensions
Out: None. In Doubt: Javi Varas (finger), Nacho Insa (knee), Andres Tunez (back).
Madrid might as well call-up Trapper and Hawkeye to try and get their roster back healthy. Marcelo, Arbeloa and Coentrão are out and thus, Mourinho's defense is depleted. His attack could be hindered as well if Benzema and Higuain don't pass fitness tests ahead of the match. For Celta Vigo, goalkeeper Javi Vargas returned to training after recovering from a dislocated finger and could return to the lineup.
Match Date/Time: 7 p.m. local, 12 p.m. ET
Venue: Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid, Spain
TV: beIN Sport en Espanol (U.S.), Sky Sports 4 (U.K.)