Real Madrid to miss Marcelo and possibly Robben against Malaga

April 3rd, 2009 - 9:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Madrid, April 3 (DPA) Real Madrid will be without Marcelo, and possibly Arjen Robben as well, in their Spanish league match away to Malaga, Saturday.
The left-back Marcelo will be out of action for around 12 days, after pulling the abductor muscle in his right leg whilst warming up Wednesday before Brazil World Cup qualifying against Peru.

Real coach Juande Ramos will now have to field either Miguel Torres or Royston Drenthe at left-back, because Gabriel Heinze is also missing through suspension.

Robben, who is notoriously injury-prone, asked to be taken off at half-time of Wednesday’s Dutch 3-0 win against Macedonia because of cramp.

The AS sports daily on Friday quoted Robben as saying: “I felt some pain and I decided to be asked to be taken off. I didn’t want to take the slightest risk for the Malaga game.”

Robben is now touch-and-go, the same as midfielder Fernando Gago, who was due to return to Madrid Friday after two weeks of Argentina duty.

Marcelo’s injury has revived the debate in Spain about the “FIFA Virus”, the name given to problems created for the big clubs when around half of their players are on national team duty several times a year.

Second-placed Real go to eighth-placed Malaga six points behind leaders Barcelona, who are away to Valladolid also Saturday.

According to the Catalan media Friday, Barca coach Josep Guardiola is contemplating leaving jet-lagged South Americans Lionel Messi and Dani Alves on the bench.

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