Alvaro, Tchouameni start in a 4-3-3: How Real Madrid could line up against Sevilla
After returning to winning ways against Rayo Vallecano, Real Madrid will be aiming to build on it and collect three more points when they face Sevilla in the penultimate matchweek of the 2022/23 La Liga campaign tonight.
Thanks to the victory over Rayo coupled with Atletico Madrid’s slip-up against Espanyol, Carlo Ancelotti’s men were able to reclaim the second spot in the table and must now fight to keep hold of it in the remaining two matches of the season.
A trip to Sevilla, though, can be a tricky prospect, especially with the team hit by injuries and going with a depleted attacking unit.
Indeed, Real Madrid will be without Karim Benzema, Marco Asensio, and Vinicius Jr tonight against Los Nervionenses due to injuries. Ancelotti thus has only three natural forwards at his disposal for the game at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
With that in mind, here is how Ancelotti could set his Real Madrid team up against Jose Luis Mendilibar’s Sevilla side tonight.
Thibaut Courtois is a guaranteed starter in goal for Real Madrid. The Belgian has always stood up for the team in important matches and will need to do so against Sevilla tonight.
Dani Carvajal has been ruled out of the contest due to suspension, which should pave the way for Lucas Vazquez to get the nod at right-back. Eder Militao should return at centre-back after not starting against Rayo, with the Brazilian partnering Antonio Rudiger
Ferland Mendy will likely get the nod at left-back as he fights for his future at Real Madrid in the final few games of the campaign.
Having fallen behind Eduardo Camavinga and Toni Kroos in the pecking order, Aurelien Tchouameni will have a point to prove as he looks likely to start for Real Madrid in the holding midfield role tonight.
Both Kroos and Luka Modric started in midweek against Rayo and could thus be given a breather tonight, with Dani Ceballos and Camavinga occupying the remaining two midfield slots for the Merengues.
Moving into the attacking unit, manager Carlo Ancelotti is running short on options. As such, Federico Valverde should start out on the right flank against Sevilla.
Meanwhile, even though Eden Hazard is an option, Rodrygo Goes, who scored the winner against Rayo Vallecano, should get the nod on the left wing in the absence of his compatriot Vinicius Jr.
It should pave the way for youngster Alvaro Rodriguez to start in the No. 9 role for Real Madrid against Sevilla, with Karim Benzema unavailable.
Real Madrid Predicted XI: Courtois, Vazquez, Militao, Rudiger, Mendy, Ceballos, Tchouameni, Camavinga, Valverde, Alvaro Rodriguez, Rodrygo.
Given the lack of options, Eden Hazard is certain to make an appearance at some point in the game against Sevilla. The likes of Luka Modric and Toni Kroos may also be called upon if things are not going Real Madrid’s way on the night.
Depending on the game situation, Carlo Ancelotti could turn to Nacho or David Alaba if he is looking to shut up shop.
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The club are clear about the continuity of Carlo Ancelotti, but the Italian could have an uphill task organising a team that will witness many defections at the end of the season.
Uncertainty over Lunin, Mendy and Nacho
In the defensive unit, Real Madrid are not entirely sure about the continuity of Andriy Lunin, which has posed questions as to who will serve as the alternative for Thibaut Courtois next season.
Should the Ukrainian international depart, Real Madrid could pursue David Raya as a potential replacement. The club are facing a similar dilemma in the left-back unit, with Ferland Mendy facing an uncertain future at Santiago Bernabeu.
Real Madrid are open to sanctioning the sale of Mendy and appeared to have put faith in the returning Fran Garcia. The club have also decided not to utilise the services of Vinicius Tobias and will rely on youngsters like Alex Jimenez and David Jimenez to explode next season.
Elsewhere in defence, both Nacho and Lucas Vazquez have a decision to make, as far as their future is concerned. If Nacho leaves, Real Madrid are unlikely to go after a centre-back and will expect Rafa Marin to compete with Jesus Vallejo for the fourth centre-back position, with Ancelotti likely to maintain trust in David Alaba, Eder Militao and David Alaba.
Bellingham to beef up midfield, Diaz could replace Asensio
Real Madrid are hoping to have one of the best midfield units in Europe following the expected arrival of Jude Bellingham.
The Borussia Dortmund starlet will join forces with Luka Modric, and Toni Kroos, along with youngsters such as Federico Valverde, Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni next season, offering Ancelotti an array of top-quality options in the middle of the park.
Dani Ceballos, though, is facing an uncertain future at the club. He appears to be very close to leaving the Bernabeu, but Real Madrid have made a last-gasp effort to keep him at the club.
Marco Asensio, meanwhile, looks set to leave the club in the summer, with the Spaniard reportedly closing in on a move to Paris Saint-Germain. His likely departure has altered Real Madrid’s plans with Brahim Diaz.
Although the former Man City starlet was in talks with AC Milan over a permanent move, there is a possibility he could remain at Bernabeu and serve as the direct replacement for Asensio.
Harry Kane an option in attack
Karim Benzema considering a last-minute move to Saudi Arabia has given a massive headache to Real Madrid’s bosses, as it can not only force them to enter the market for a new forward but also scupper their plans to sign either Erling Haaland or Kylian Mbappe in 2024.
Harry Kane appears to be the front-runner to replace Benzema if he leaves the club. Ancelotti is a fan of the Englishman, who might want to leave Spurs after yet another disappointing campaign.
Elsewhere, Real Madrid are expected to bring in Joselu Mato as a replacement for Mariano Diaz. The Espanyol striker will serve as the alternative to the main centre-forward at the Bernabeu next season.