Central defender Raphael Varane will make his long-awaited return from injury when Real Madrid take on Atletico de Madrid in the Copa del Rey semi-final.
The French defender has endured a difficult campaign, missing the early months of a season through injury sustain last season, before picking up a knee problem on international duty with his country in November.
But Los Blancos boss Carlo Ancelotti revealed in his press conference before the match with their city rivals that Varane will start. With Madrid leading 3-0 from the first leg, it will allow Varane to enter the fray in a competitive atmosphere but a game in which Los Blancos should be able to see out a book their place in the final.
The Frenchman’s return is a timely one, as it will mean one of Pepe or Sergio Ramos will sit out the game. Both players are on a booking already, so a yellow card in the second leg would rule them out of the final.
Ancelotti said: “We have no problems. Varane will play and one of the two of them will rest. Varane needs to play. He has everything it takes to be a good defender: quality, speed, tactical awareness, good positioning, enthusiasm … It is important that he has recovered well because the other centre-backs get a chance to rest.”