Alaba, Ceballos start in a 4-3-3: How Real Madrid could line up against Osasuna
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.
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.
Five summer transfer operations that Real Madrid are currently working on
With renewed energy, Real Madrid approach the summer transfer window oozing optimism. The air in the Spanish capital is filled with anticipation as Los Blancos prepare to embark on a new chapter — one that promises to bring numerous changes and opportunities.
Following the exits of several high profile names, with the most recent departure of Karim Benzema leaving a gargantuan void in the front-line, Madrid are necessitated to act swiftly in the window. They are reportedly set to prepare for a revolutionary summer.
Currently, Los Blancos maintain emphasis on five operations that hold priority. These are as follows:
The English starboy with the world at his feet continues to be one of football’s hottest commodities. Bellingham has amassed considerable interest from Europe’s top sides, but appears to be closest to striking a deal with Real Madrid.
While the player had no shortage of suitors, his desire to play for the Royal Whites has given Madrid a very realistic chance of obtaining the teenage sensation’s signature.
According to Fabrizio Romano, Real Madrid aspire to complete details of Jude Bellingham’s deal next week. Talks are in the final stages, with add-ons as well as the €100m fixed fee to BVB.
In spite of his high price tag, Bellingham has bedazzled at the tender age of 19, having also won the Bundesliga player of the season. Strengthening the squad with a talent as renowed as him is bound to engender energy in the midfield department next season.
Karim Benzema’s exit has given rise to several top class strikers being linked with Madrid, but Kane’s name stands out most remarkably. The English forward enjoyed a spectacular season with Tottenham Hotspur, despite the club’s collective shortcomings.
Los Blancos face a whopping price tag of €120 million due to the player’s significance for Spurs, but possess an edge in negotiations, owing to the absence of a direct domestic conflict.
According to Jose Felix Diaz, Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is willing to let Harry Kane leave, as long as his next destination is outside of England.
Kane has established himself as one of the world’s most demanded forwards. Interest from Real Madrid particularly makes sense, with how many stylistic similarities he possesses with Benzema.
The forward is adept at dropping deep and linking plays, while also possesses an incredible eye for goal. Kane ended the Premier League season as the second top scorer, scoring 30.
The German international appears to already have one foot in the Spanish capital. Havertz has garnered great interest from Perez, who will be tasked with filling a barren front-line, where Rodrygo and Vinicius are the only two forwards remaining at the club.
The 23 year old was signed by a grand figure of €80 million, but failed to live up to expectations. With a difficult period at the English club, Chelsea would not present much resistance if an adequate offer is presented.
However, Chelsea are reportedly demanding Madrid to put a figure of around €60 million to sign Havertz, which by no means is an amount the Merengues throw around lightly.
Still, Havertz has proven to be a talented youngster when the conditions favour him. At Bayer Leverkusen, he soared to incredible heights. The player is also well acquainted with the German players in Madrid’s squad, which will ease the adaptation process.
While Madrid yearn to reconstruct most of their attack, the club have not abandoned the defensive side of the squad and particularly appear interested in bolstering the left-back position, where Davies has emerged as a potential signing.
As Ferland Mendy faces an almost imminent departure or, at the very least, a demotion in the pecking order, Davies looks to be the chosen one to reinforce the area.
The Bayern Munich left-back is one of the world’s most productive full-backs as he has undeniably proven to be one of the Bavarians’ main assets.
According to Spanish outlet MARCA, Madrid have contacted the German side in hopes of sealing a deal. The reported figure is expected to exceed €60-70 million.
Moreover, Alphonso Davies has dual citizenship, Canadian & Liberian and with the Cotonou agreement, he doesn’t take a NON-EU slot in the squad.
Joselu has been one of the most mentioned links with Madrid ahead of the summer transfer window. As Madrid are willing to especially beef up their attacking depth, the Espanyol man would prove to be a solid buy.
After bidding farewell to Mariano and Asensio, the need for a reliable back-up striker exists in the squad. In such a context, Joselu would aid the depth department.
The Spaniard ended the league season as the third top scorer, securing an impressive 16 goals. Despite Espanyol’s relegation, he looked to be one of the few bright spots in a struggling side.
To successfully reinforce the squad, Real Madrid aim to create a formidable lineup capable of competing at the highest level. They are targeting both established stars and young individuals, believing that a blend of experience and potential will formulate a well-rounded squad.
Following a bucketload of player exits as well as failures in La Liga and Champions League, the club believe a transformative phase is essential to move forward.