Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku will miss Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Real Madrid due to injury, the Serie A club said Monday.
The Belgium international has scored seven goals in as many matches for Inter this season, including both in a 2-2 draw at home to Borussia Moenchengladbach on matchday one.
He missed Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Parma with a thigh problem and has not travelled to Spain for the same reason.
Alexis Sanchez has returned to training after sitting out the past three matches, although Inter coach Antonio Conte said it was unlikely he would start in Madrid.
Inter are third in Group B with two points from two games while Real needed two late goals last week to salvage a 2-2 draw at Gladbach and register their first point.
Militao tests positive
Real Madrid defender Eder Militao has contracted coronavirus on the eve of the Champions League group stage tie with Inter Milan, the Spanish giants said Monday.
Brazil’s 22-year-old centre-back, who has featured three times in the league and in Europe this, returned the result after tests on Sunday.
“All the other players and the technical staff from the first team, as well as all the employees of the club who work directly with them, tested negative in that same test,” Real said in a statement.
“The club would like to confirm once again that everyone, with the exception of Eder Militao, tested negative in the antigen tests carried out that same morning.”
According to Uefa’s guidelines Militao must return a negative test at least six hours before kick-off to be able to feature against Inter in the Spanish capital on Tuesday.
Madrid could also be without Militao’s fellow defenders Dani Carvajal, Alvaro Odriozola and Nacho, who are all struggling with fitness issues.
Zinedine Zidane’s men lost their opening game of the continental campaign to Shakhtar Donetsk earlier this month before drawing at Borussia Moenchengladbach last week.
Ajax missing four key players after virus setback
Ajax will be without four key players including captain Dusan Tadic and goalkeeper Andre Onana in their Champions League clash against Midtjylland after testing positive for coronavirus, news reports said Monday.
Two other regular starters, midfielders Davy Klaassen and Ryan Gravenberch, were also omitted from Erik ten Hag’s 17-man squad to face the Danish-based club on Tuesday.
At least seven other players including reserve goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg and attacking midfielder Zakaria Labyad were left off the plane as well.
Ten Hag, at a press conference ahead of the Group D ecnounter, remained vague about the players and their Covid-19 status, and why they could not travel to play at the MCH Arena in the western Danish city of Herning.
“There are a number of players who did not get permission to enter Denmark to play here. They are allowed to play in the Netherlands but not in Denmark,” Ten Hag said at the livestreamed conference.
Pressed for a reason Ten Hag said: “I can’t say anything about the exact reasons and I’m also not going to comment on individuals because of privacy reasons.”
“All I know is that they did not get permission to enter Denmark,” he said.
Ten Hag then added “it has to do with testing. All I can say is the players affected by this are healthy in the sense that they don’t have any symptoms or complaints.”
Denmark enforces stricter anti-coronavirus rules than many other European countries.
It could be that some players who tested positive before still have residual traces of the virus showing up in blood tests, even though they have recovered completely, the RTL Nieuws private broadcaster said.
“I find this rather odd,” said Ten Hag.
“We are playing in a European competition. But European countries have different rules when it comes to corona,” he said.
“That’s strange and it is not fair play either,” added Ten Hag.
Dutch news reports say the missing players are now pinning their hopes on a second test, hoping that would come up negative.
“I am therefore hopeful that they will still be welcome on Tuesday,” Ten Hag said, adding “we are still working on it”.
Dynamo Kiev lose nine players to virus for Barca clash
Nine Dynamo Kiev players who tested positive for coronavirus will miss this week’s group stage game against Barcelona in the Champions League, the team said Monday.
“Due to positive Covid-19 tests, a number of players will not be able to help the team in Barcelona,” the Ukrainian side said in a statement Monday that named the players.
They include goalkeepers Georgiy Bushchan and Denys Boyko, defenders Vitaly Mykolenko and Oleksandr Karavaev and midfielder Mykola Shaparenko.
Captain Serhiy Sydorchuk is suspended after receiving a red card, while three other players – Mykyta Burda, Oleksandr Tymchyk and Vladimir Kostevych – are injured.
After being beaten by Juventus 2-0 at home, Dynamo Kiev blew a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 away to Ferencvaros in Hungary.
Dynamo will play Barcelona in Spain on Wednesday.
Ukraine has registered more than 400,000 coronavirus cases and 7,375 fatalities, according to the health ministry data published Monday.
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