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Alaba, Ceballos start in a 4-3-3: How Real Madrid could line up against Osasuna



Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images

In less than 12 hours, Real Madrid will step out on the pitch at Estadio de La Cartuja in Seville to take on CA Osasuna in the finals of the Copa del Rey.

The Copa del Rey trophy has eluded Real Madrid for a long time now, with the Merengues having failed to win it for nine years. Manager Carlo Ancelotti, who was in charge of the team the last time they won the cup, will want to guide his troops to another triumph.

Winning the Copa del Rey could be a historic achievement for Real Madrid as it would mean that since Ancelotti’s return in 2021, they will have won all the competitions they have been involved in.

Furthermore, given their lapse in La Liga this season, it is important that Los Blancos make up for it by adding the King’s Cup and potentially the UEFA Champions League trophy to their cabinet before the end of the season.

Leading up to the game, Real Madrid have received a twin injury boost as both David Alaba and Luka Modric have returned to training and are in contention to feature against Osasuna. And, here’s how Ancelotti could set his team up to face Jagoba Arrasate’s men tonight.


Thibaut Courtois often comes up clutch in the big games for Real Madrid and his presence between the sticks will be crucial for them to stand a chance of winning the Copa del Rey in Seville tonight.

At the heart of the defence, Eder Militao is a certain starter. And with David Alaba being fully fit heading into the game, the Austrian should pair up alongside Militao, ahead of Antonio Rudiger.

Ready to go. (Photo by Flor Tan Jun/Getty Images)

Dani Carvajal will be the undisputed starter at right-back for the Spanish champions, whereas Eduardo Camavinga is expected to slot in at left-back again in the injury-enforced absence of Ferland Mendy.

The midfield department is where it gets interesting for Carlo Ancelotti. Luka Modric may be back, but keeping in mind Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final against Manchester City, the manager might not risk starting the 37-year-old tonight.

It would mean that Federico Valverde and Toni Kroos are certain starters in midfield, with the final spot to be a toss-up between Dani Ceballos and Aurelien Tchouameni. The former may well get the nod as his skillset could come in handy against a resolute Osasuna team.

The attacking unit picks itself at this point as Karim Benzema will line up as the centre-forward, flanked by the Brazilian duo of Rodrygo Goes and Vinicius Jr.

Vinicius · Benzema · Rodrygo
Ceballos · Kroos · Valverde
Camavinga · Alaba · Militao · Carvajal


Marco Asensio has put in some fine performances of late and is certain to get minutes on the pitch during the Copa del Rey final. Luka Modric could also come on at some stage in the second half, especially if things are not going Real Madrid’s way.

Conversely, Carlo Ancelotti might turn to the likes of Aurelien Tchouameni and Antonio Rudiger to shut up shop if his team are in a good position. Nacho Fernandez would also be an option for the manager to change things up.

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MU Shorts

Five alternatives Real Madrid should consider after missing out on Leny Yoro



Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images

After months of inquiries and negotiations, Real Madrid are on the verge of missing out on the pursuit of Leny Yoro.

The LOSC Lille defender is slated for a trip to England today to complete his medical. He is later expected to sign a new deal at Manchester United until 2029.

Yoro’s likely move to Old Trafford could serve as a massive blow for Real Madrid, as they desperately look for reinforcements at centre-back.

Fortunately, the reigning European champions have an entire summer transfer window ahead of them and there should be no shortage of alternatives available in the market.

Here, at Madrid Universal, we will take a look at five players Real Madrid should target after fumbling the Leny Yoro deal.

Jarrad Branthwaite (Everton)

Jarrad Branthwaite could be an interesting option for Real Madrid. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Earlier in the year, Real Madrid were one of the clubs linked with a move for Jarrad Branthwaite, the Everton centre-back.

The 22-year-old Englishman was an ever-present figure in the Everton backline this past season, featuring in 35 league matches while scoring three goals.

Standing at 1.95m, Branthwaite has made a solid impression in England through his imposing presence at the back.

Branthwaite’s age and height are close to that of Yoro while the defender has also played under Carlo Ancelotti in the past, making him an ideal alternative for the young Frenchman.

Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace)

Marc Guehi excelled at the Euros. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Marc Guehi is another Premier League player Real Madrid have been linked with in the recent past.

Known for his strong physique and ball-playing abilities, Guehi was a prominent fixture in England’s Euro 2024 squad and is regarded as one of the best centre-backs in the Premier League.

Guehi’s qualities, therefore, could prove to be useful for Real Madrid as they look to add more strength to the centre-back department.

William Saliba (Arsenal)

Saliba is one of the best CBs currently. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Premier League defenders appear to be Real Madrid’s best bets when it comes to finding an alternative for Leny Yoro and the next one on the list is William Saliba.

Over the past couple of years, Saliba has been the lynchpin in Mikel Arteta’s defensive system, helping Arsenal emerge as the main threat to Manchester City’s dominance in England.

Saliba’s proficiency with the ball, coupled with his positioning sense make him an ideal long-term defensive bet for Real Madrid.

Goncalo Inacio (Sporting CP)

Inacio has been on Real Madrid’s radar for long. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

The first non-Premier League defender on this list, Goncalo Inacio has been linked with a move to Santiago Bernabeu since the turn of the year.

Although Leny Yoro was preferred to Inacio by the Real Madrid management this summer, recent developments could once again tempt the club to look back at Inacio.

The Sporting CP starlet is regarded as one of Portugal’s finest young defenders and his immense potential makes him a solid target for Real Madrid.

Yann Bisseck (Inter Milan)

Yann Bisseck can be a fine long-term investment. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

Formerly of FC Koln, Yann Bisseck has enjoyed tremendous growth following his move to Inter Milan.

With 16 league appearances for Inter Milan this past season, Bisseck has cemented his place as one of the most promising defenders in Serie A.

Aged just 23, Bisseck is known for his defensive discipline and work ethic. However, what makes him an appealing target for Real Madrid is his valuation.

The German is still in the nascent stages of his development. With Inter Milan signing him for a fee of just €7 million, Bisseck, in fact, could easily be the most cost-effective player on this list.

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