Real Madrid have announced positive Covid-19 results for David Alaba and Isco, little over 24 hours before their La Liga clash with Athletic Club.
Los Blancos confirmed Marco Asensio, Gareth Bale, Andriy Lunin, Rodrygo and assistant manager Davide Ancelotti had returned positive results on Thursday, adding to the outbreak in the Spanish capital that was started by Luka Modric and Marcelo the day before.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side are six points clear at the top of La Liga, but will now face mid-table Athletic Club without Alaba and Isco, both of whom will now need to enter self-isolation.
Alaba’s absence is the one that Real Madrid will feel most, with the Austrian having settled seamlessly into his new surroundings following his summer move from Bayern Munich.
His presence in the centre of defence has helped Real win 13 of their 18 La Liga games, picking up 43 points and conceding just 15 goals. Isco, meanwhile, has continued to be on the fringes for the most part, and has made just seven appearances this season.
Real head into the game with Los Leones off the back of a disappointing stalemate with relegation-threatened Cadiz; one that saw them have 82% possession and rain 36 shots down on goal but still fail to score.
That performance prompted Ancelotti to admit that Real still lacked quality in the final third, regardless of the number of chances created.
“We tried everything we could from the first to last minute,” he told reporters. “I think we lacked some quality in the final 30 metres, but I can’t be angry. These matches can happen. There were many positive aspects, with the result the only thing that wasn’t positive.”