The Champions League semi-final between Chelsea and Real Madrid is finely poised after the 1-1 draw in Spain last night.
Zinedine Zidane’s side has been struggling with injuries lately and it looks like players are starting to return to fitness, but it now appears that they’ll be without Marcelo for the second leg.
This has nothing to do with fitness or suspension, but it’s reported by El Mundo that he’s been for polling duty in Madrid on the day of the second leg.
There were hopes that it might end in time for him to fly over and take part, but there are covid-19 protocols that make that difficult and it genuinely looks like he’s going to be forced to miss the game.
They go on to say that Real Madrid is currently fighting with the electoral board to free the player to play in this game, but nothing has been agreed at this point.
There is some precedent in this matter as it’s claimed that a Levante player managed to escape similar duty back in 2019 but that was in a different city so it might not matter here.
He may not be an obvious difference-maker for the second leg but he’s one of Zidane’s favorites and someone he relies on heavily in the big games, so this will be a major blow for Real if they can’t find a way out of this.