Real Madrid defender Antonio Rudiger fit to face Barcelona after 20 stitches
Real Madrid defender Antonio Rudiger has been cleared to play in El Clasico against Barcelona on Sunday but keeper Thibaut Courtois will miss out.
Rudiger needed 20 stitches in his forehead after colliding with Shakhtar Donetsk keeper Anatoliy Trubin while scoring in the 1-1 Champions League draw on Tuesday.
The German, who signed from Chelsea in June, will wear a protective face mask.
“Rudiger is a warrior,” said Real manager Carlo Ancelotti.
“If you look at him, he is so excited and looking forward to Sunday’s game.”
Belgium international Courtois will not be available for selection because of a lack of match practice following the back injury that has kept him out of Real’s past four matches.
“He is recovered and that’s great for us,” said Ancelotti. “But he needs more practice to get back to peak form. We won’t rush him back until he is ready.”
Real and Barcelona are level on points at the top of La Liga, although Barca are on the brink of being knocked out of the Champions League in the group stage for the second successive season, having won only one of their four matches in the competition.
Ancelotti says their poor form in Europe will not affect the game at the Bernabeu.
“Barcelona have won all their La Liga games except for their debut,” he said.
“They have had problems in the Champions League but it’s a different competition with a different outlook. In La Liga they have been extraordinary.
“We are going to enjoy ourselves. We want to win, but there is still a long way to go.”