As Liverpool march on to the last-16 of the Champions League and Real Madrid lick their wounds after a shock La Liga defeat at the weekend, both clubs face their next fixtures without their star defenders.
We have seen this year that key defenders are at a premium in European football, but Virgil van Dijk and Real skipper Sergio Ramos have consistently shown evidence of their brilliance since the start of the nonsense.
Of course, Sergio Ramos is no stranger to a suspension. The flashy defender has been sent off no less than 25 times, a shockingly high number for a player of his class.
His 25th dismissal at the weekend came late on in the shock 2-1 defeat to La Liga strugglers Girona.
It topped off a busy week for the Spaniard, who is also facing an enquiry after being accused of deliberately trying to get booked against Ajax in the Champions League so he would miss the second leg.
Meanwhile, Virgil van Dijk has really come into his own since joining Liverpool from Southampton 13 months ago. He is now considered a key cog in Jurgen Klopp’s defence, providing structure, poise and a bit of pizazz when needed, making him vital if Liverpool are to win anything this season.
The Dutchman will miss Liverpool’s Champions League tie with Bayern Munich on Tuesday after picking up a suspension-earning yellow card in their final group game and his absence is bound to be felt.
At the time of Van Dijk’s arrival, many raised their eyebrows at the £75 million transfer fee. However, he has thrived under Klopp’s tutelage and is now deservedly considered one of the best, if not the best, centre-back in the Premier League.
But who would you prefer to see marshalling your side at the back?
That was the question we asked our fans on Facebook and after 300,000 votes it was determined that 58% of those who voted would favour Van Dijk joining their club.
Ramos still picked up a significant 42% of the vote but the Real Madrid star will have to settle for second place on this occasion.