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Solari banks on changes against Rome for qualification into next stage


Real Madrid take on Roma in the Champions League today evening. The European champions are enduring a nightmare season, and head to the Stadio Olimpico on the back of a humiliating 3-0 defeat at minnows Eibar.

New boss Santiago Solari had enjoyed four straight wins since replacing Julen Lopetegui, but the crisis returned to the Spanish capital with Saturday’s shock defeat.

However, a win in Rome would see Real qualify for the knockout stages as group winners, and even if they lose they could still go through if CSKA Moscow fail to beat Viktoria Plzen.

Solari has several injury problems to contend with, the biggest loss being Casemiro.

The Brazilian midfield star is out with a sprained ankle, and won’t return in time for this game.

Utility man Nacho is out until January with a ligament injury, while Keylor Navas is out of the squad following a knee problem.

Sergio Reguilon is also missing with a muscle problem, but reserve players Javi Sanchez and Moha have been training with the first team.

Alvaro Odriozola was forced off against Eibar with an injury, but first-choice right-back Dani Carvajal is available again to replace him.

With Dani Ceballos and Marcos Asensio off form, Isco and Lucas Vazquez could come into the starting line-up – and Mariano will be hoping to edge out Karim Benzema for the role of main striker.

The biggest boost for Real could be that Roma are also in poor form and missing key players such as Lorenzo Pellegrini, Daniele De Rossi and Javier Pastore.

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