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Rudiger to miss Valencia clash after picking up fifth yellow card

Real Madrid CF v Rayo Vallecano - LaLiga EA Sports Photo by Mateo Villalba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Real Madrid defender Antonio Rudiger will be unavailable for the next La Liga game against Valencia after receiving his fifth yellow card of the season in the 0-0 draw with Rayo Vallecano on Sunday.

The German international was booked in the 95th minute for a confrontation with Rayo center back Florian Lejeune, who had gotten in his way near the corner flag after the German tried to push him out of his way and get into the box. The referee showed both players a yellow card, much to the frustration of Rudiger, who had to be restrained by his teammates.

The suspension means that Rudiger will hit the sidelines, leaving Real Madrid with only two fit center backs for the Valencia game: David Alaba and Nacho. The former has been a regular starter under Carlo Ancelotti, while Nacho has been used reliably any time he’s needed to fill in.

Rudiger’s absence is a blow for Real Madrid, who are currently second in the league table, two points behind leaders Girona. The 30-year-old has been one of the best performers for the club this season, filling in with solid performances in the absence of Eder Militao.

Rudiger will still be available mid-week against Braga in the Champions League, where he will most likely start.

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