Ronaldo likely to play in must-win game for Madrid

Madrid, April 4: Real Madrid striker Cristiano Ronaldo will be able to play his side’s vital BBVA Primera Liga tie away to Real Sociedad Saturday night.

Ronaldo had been a major doubt for the game after limping out of Real Madrid’s 3-0 win against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League with 10 minutes remaining Wednesday night, reports Xinhua.

He also failed to train along with his teammates Thursday as a result of tendonitis in his left knee and instead carried out a session in the gym.

Although Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti had given a message of calm over the injury Wednesday, this kind of problem usually needs rest in order to prevent it worsening and it had been thought Ronaldo would be rested for Saturday’s game.

However, the Madrid press assured he will be able to play in a match Real Madrid have little option other than to win if they are to remain in the race for the league title.

Real Madrid will kick off in Anoeta knowing what is needed of them given that league leaders, Atletico Madrid and second place FC Barcelona play their respective games ahead of their 8 p.m. (local time) kick off.

Should Atletico and Barca win their matches then Real Madrid would start their game six points behind Atletico and five behind Barca.

Real Sociedad, who will be without midfielder Xabi Prieto, are currently sixth in the league and still have ambitions of finishing fourth and returning to the Champions League.

Real Sociedad have already beaten Barcelona in their Anoeta Stadium and themselves need a win to stay in touch with fourth placed Athletic Club Bilbao and fifth place Sevilla.

Ancelotti may make some changes to the side with Diego Lopez returning in goal for Iker Casillas, while Angel Di Maria steps into midfield.

That would see former Real Sociedad midfielder, Asier Illaramendi drop to the bench against the club he abandoned to join Madrid last summer.

Illaramendi can expect a mixed reception at a ground where Real Madrid are very unpopular and it is doubtful many supporters will forgive the homegrown player’s decision to join the side from the capital.

IANS