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Alonso and Arbeloa ready for Real duty
Published : 06 Dec 2011 15:47:00
Midfielder Xabi Alonso and defender Alvaro Arbeloa returned to Real Madrid's squad on Tuesday a day ahead of their final Champions League group match away to Ajax, the Spanish giants announced.
Alonso, who was suspended for Real's last league outing -- a 3-0 defeat of Sporting Gijon -- is set to travel to Amsterdam, although he could be rested by Jose Mourinho for Saturday's clash against Barcelona.
Arbeloa returns to the squad having missed the match against Valencia with an injury knock.
Real have already qualified for the last 16 knockout phase, giving manager Mourinho the luxury of resting goalkeeper Iker Casillas, along with Marcelo, Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Sami Khedira, Lassana Diarra and Cristiano Ronaldo.
The match, however, will be decisive for both Ajax and French club Lyon -- both of whom are vying for second place and thus entry to the last 16.
A draw would be enough to see Ajax secure second place in Group D, although Lyon -- who have a three-point deficit to the Dutch -- need to beat Dinamo Zagreb and hope for a heavy Ajax defeat to have any chance of going through.