Sixteen-year-old Martin Odegaard has been named on Real Madrid on the Substitutes bench for tonight’s La Liga clash with Almeria.
The teenage sensation was included in the squad by coach Carlo Ancelotti and the Norwegian midfielder could see some minutes as the game progress.
Odegaard moved to Real Madrid from Stromgodset in January, would become the youngest-ever player to feature for the club if he comes on Wednesday night.
As expected, there is no Gareth Bale or Karim Benzema, so Javier Hernandez and Jese play alongside Cristiano Ronaldo in the attack for Real Madrid, who are in second place and five points behind leaders Barcelona, who won Tuesday night.
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MADRID (Sporting Alert) — Real Madrid could hand Martin Odegaard his senior club debut against Almeria at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday night.
HIS TIME TO SHINE
Odegaard, who joined the La Liga side in January, has been named in the match day squad for the first time since his move and the teenager could feature for the seniors for the first time.
Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti confirmed that three youth players were listed in his squad, adding that two of them will start on the substitutes bench.
“Wednesday in the squad there will be three youth-team players,” the Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti confirmed to the club website.
“Odegaard, [Borja] Mayoral and Diego Llorente. I think two of the three will be on the bench and they could get an opportunity to play.”
The highly-rated Norwegian has already linked up with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale in training with the first-team, but his playing minutes have only been with the Real Madrid reserve team, Castilla in the Spanish third division.
But come Wednesday night, the-16-year-old could very well become the youngest Real Madrid player in history.
BALE WON’T BE RUSHED
Bale, on the other hand, is on the right track to make his return, but the Wales international is unlikely to feature against Almeria, with Saturday’s trip to Sevilla a more suitable target return date.
“We reckon Bale will be back for the Sevilla game,” Ancelotti said. “He will work on his own today and tomorrow and could return to the team after that.”
Ancelotti also thinks that center forward Karim Benzema, who will return to first-team training on Sunday, could return for the Champions League semi-final clash with Juventus
“Benzema will start training with the team again on Sunday,” the Italian coach said. “He will travel to Turin by coach and airplane like the rest of the players.
“He’ll be in the right shape to do that. He is not at full fitness, but we need him for this semi-final, just like we need the whole squad.”
Real Madrid sit five points behind leaders Barcelona in the race for this year’s La Liga crown and Ancelotti wants his team to stay in the title hunt.
“Our objective in La Liga is to win all the remaining games,” he said at his press conference.
“It’s a point in the season where every game is life or death. We have to prepare for this match with this thought.”
He added: “Against Almería we kick start a period of the season in which every encounter will be determined the outcome of the future.”
Ancelotti also confirmed that Keylor Navas will start in goal.
“He’ll start,” the boss said about Navas. “I can’t explain why he seems to always play in the Santiago Bernabeu.
“I don’t think about whether it is home or away fixture. He can play in any stadium.”
Madrid will battle with an Almeria side that is hoping to keep their status in the top flight for next season.
The travelers picked up a crucial 2-0 win over Eibar in their last fixture to move out of the relegation zone, but face a massive challenge to repeat this feat at the Bernabeu.