Rafa Benitez has confirmed that defender Pepe
Rafa Benitez has confirmed that defender Pepe will be available for the heavyweight clash with Paris St Germain in the Champions League group stages.
Even though Madrid have suffered from inconsistencies in the domestic competition, they have looked brilliant when it comes to European football. They are joint leaders of the group A along with PSG, who have also taken the same seven points from the opening three matches. The fitness of Pepe was going to be a huge deal for Madrid, as his partner Sergio Ramos has also been struggling with his fitness of late.
Ramos’ participation in the game is another major doubt due to a shoulder injury, while Pepe has not played because of a leg injury a month ago. Both these players returning back to the line-up will be a major boost to Benitez. Regarded as some of the best central defenders in the world, the pair will be required to keep the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic quiet in a game that matters a lot. The goals by Ibrahimovic may have reduced of late but he still remains a major threat. Another doubt for the game was midfielder Luka Modric and Benitez says that the player going off in a recent match was largely down to taking precaution.
“Sergio Ramos and Pepe will be available to play against PSG.Modric had a slight problem with his hip and we took him off because we preferred not to risk him.For the rest of the recovering players, we will make a decision on Monday whether they are available,” said Benitez. Performing well only in Europe does not cut the mustard as far as Madrid are concerned. Benitez will have to start delivering results – on a more consistent basis – in terms of la Liga, where Barcelona once again reign supreme.