Real Madrid’s Marcelo fit for Roma clash

Madrid, Feb 16 (IANS) Real Madrid received an injury boost ahead of their last 16 Champions League football tie away to AS Roma when left back Marcelo returned to training with the squad.

The Brazilian, who is a key part of coach Zinedine Zidane’s side, missed out on Saturday’s game at home to Athletic Club Bilbao because of a dislocated shoulder he suffered against Granada the previous weekend, reports Xinhua.

It had been expected he would also miss on the trip to the Italian capital.

However, he was able to take part in Monday’s training session with the rest of his team-mates and included in the 20-man squad for the trip.

Meanwhile, Gareth Bale and Pepe will both miss out as Bale works to recover from a recurring calf injury, which has kept him out of action for the last month, while the central defender has been struggling with a foot injury.

Real Madrid are favourites to progress into the quarter-finals of the competition at the expense of the side that is currently fourth in Italy’s Serie A. But Roma’s former Barcelona midfielder, Seydou Keita said on Monday his side is giving nothing up as lost.

“I think we need to be confident,” said Keita on Monday.

“We have to go onto the pitch believing that although it is going to be difficult, it isn’t impossible,” added the midfielder, who believes things have improved since Luciano Spalletti was named as coach.

“We are in good form at the moment, and the fans are also content. When you change coach, you also change your mentality. Things weren’t going well for us before and now that has changed, we have won four games in a row and that is important,” he signalled.

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