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Ancelotti clears the air with in-form Real Madrid ace after statements about his role

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Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

The incessant onslaught of injuries has depleted the Real Madrid squad considerably and forced Carlo Ancelotti to depend on his secondary options.

However, the absence of starters often paves the way for backup players to make a name for themselves and rise to the occasion, pitching themselves as viable successors to a starting position.

After Kepa Arrizabalaga suffered muscle discomfort in his right leg in the warm-up for the game against Braga, Andriy Lunin stepped up to guard the Madrid goal

The Ukrainian has done immensely well since becoming a regular, as he was also able to complete a clean sheet in the most recent encounter against Cadiz.

Kepa won’t be displaced

Despite Lunin’s string of strong performances, Jose Felix Diaz, via MARCA, has come out to claim that Carlo Ancelotti values the work Lunin does, but he is clear that the starting goalkeeper is Kepa, which he had confirmed the same in a press conference.

The coach is unwilling to meddle with the hierarchy he has set in place. Kepa, who arrived to replace Courtois as the starting goalkeeper, will continue to be trusted between the sticks, as per the report.

However, Ancelotti did not wish to create any resentment or confusion down the line, so he held a face-to-face meeting with Lunin, explaining to him the pecking order and his statements regarding Kepa’s starting position.

Ancelotti sees Kepa as his No. 1. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Lunin’s future

Lunin’s future at the Bernabeu may be uncertain if an offer comes in that essentially assures his playing time, as Lunin’s contract expires on June 30.

Currently, there has been no action regarding an extension of the contract.

Once Thibaut Courtois recovers from his ACL injury, the Belgian is expected to take the reins as the starting keeper, and Lunin will have to contemplate his future as he keeps these factors in mind.

For now, the player proceeds to do the best he can in Kepa’s absence and is making the Merengues proud.

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Real Madrid News

Official: Real Madrid announce starting lineup to face Real Betis

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Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Real Madrid will sign off on their successful La Liga campaign today with a fixture against Real Betis at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The game, being seen as a final preparation for the UEFA Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund, sees manager Carlo Ancelotti field his strongest possible lineup.

All eyes will obviously be on the retiring Toni Kroos, who bids goodbye to the Bernabeu in what will be his final home game as a Real Madrid player.

The German international starts in the centre of the park alongside Federico Valverde, while Eduardo Camavinga slots in as the No. 6.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid captain, Nacho Fernandez, also starts in what could be his last game at the Bernabeu as well.

Nacho pairs up with Antonio Rudiger in defence, flanked by the full-back pairing of Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy. Thibaut Courtois starts in goal ahead of Andriy Lunin and Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Up front, Vinicius Jr. starts in attack, partnering up with Rodrygo Goes. Top scorer Jude Bellingham occupies the attacking midfield role for Real Madrid.

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