Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that at least three players will likely be unavailable for their Supercopa de Espana final against Athletic Club in Saudi Arabia on Sunday.

Defender David Alaba travelled with the squad but was missing from the lineup in the semi-final match against FC Barcelona last Wednesday. The manager has now said that there are still doubts about the Austrian's fitness. Alaba complained of a muscle discomfort, and Ancelotti said that he may still be unavailable on Sunday. The hamstring issue was picked up during Los Blancos' first training session in Riyadh ahead of the semi-final.

He did not give details about Marco Asensio's issue, but mentioned him as one of the players in doubt for the final as he spoke to members of the media during a pre-match press conference on Saturday.

Lastly, full back Dani Carvajal has been ruled out after testing positive for Covid-19 following a good performance against Barcelona. Ancelotti said that the absence does not bother him, and pointed out that the club is already used to missing players due to Covid-19 infections. However, he will be holding his breath until Sunday night, with the rest of the squad in danger of returning positive results as well due to close contact with an infected individual.

Lucas Vazquez will likely step up for Carvajal. Rodrygo and Eden Hazard are also available up front, giving Ancelotti little to worry about if things stay as they are. The Real Madrid bench is fairly deep, but there is a big challenge posed by the venue. If there are multiple infections that are detected in the next 24 hours, it won't be possible to simply call reserve players up or pull them from the youth team owing to the distance between Riyadh and Madrid.

They will likely be able to manage with what they have, and it will take a massive outbreak to cause a real problem. However, with one positive case in the squad, there is always that risk hanging in the air.

Carlo Ancelotti
Carlo Ancelotti's Real Madrid will face Athletic Club on Sunday GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP