Real Madrid have centre back Sergio Ramos back in the squad for Sunday’s La Liga game at home to Levante, when Carlo Ancelotti’s men will try to end a run of three matches without a win.
Ramos has not played since damaging a hamstring in early February and his return is another boost for Real after midfielder Luka Modric featured for the first time in four months in Tuesday’s 4-3 Champions League loss at home to Schalke 04.
The reverse in Europe came after a 1-0 loss at Athletic Bilbao and a 1-1 draw at home to Villarreal in La Liga and prompted a furious reaction from the Real fans at the Bernabeu, who roundly whistled Ancelotti and the players.
The Italian told a news conference on Saturday that Real had “paid a high price” with injuries in recent months.
Midfielder James Rodriguez is also sidelined, depriving the team of one of their most creative players.
“He (Ramos) is doing really well, he has worked well and he is going to help us, as will Modric and all the players who have returned from this period of injuries,” Ancelotti said.
“He (Ramos) has personality, character and everyone is happy that he has returned.”
Real could find themselves four points adrift of Barca by the time they run out on Sunday.
Barca, who host their arch rivals for the La Liga ‘Clasico’ in just over a week’s time, play at Eibar later on Saturday and a win would lift them to 65 points with 11 games left, reports Reuters.
Ancelotti said he was sure Real, who set a Spanish record of 22 consecutive wins in all competitions at the end of last year, would get back on track soon.
“We have to focus on our work and change this run of form,” he told reporters.
“To do that, we are going to try and play a quality game with intensity, with everybody playing and working together, and helping one another.
“It is normal to be affected, but that doesn’t mean that we are going to give in.
“We are going to make a greater effort and put in more work in order to turn the situation around and I am convinced that we will do it.”