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Ancelotti likely to continue with makeshift centre-back pairing for Real Madrid vs RB Leipzig

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Photo by DESIREE MARTIN/AFP via Getty Images

While it is evident that Aurelien Tchouameni does not like playing as a centre-back, injuries to key players have forced the Frenchman to cover the position on several occasions this season.

Interestingly enough, when Real Madrid took on Valencia last weekend, manager Carlo Ancelotti had both Antonio Rudiger and Nacho at his disposal but the Italian still went on to use Tchouameni alongside the German.

Now, according to a report from Mundo Deportivo, the manager is considering using the same defensive duo – Rudiger and Tchouameni – against RB Leipzig in the Round of 16 second leg tie of the UEFA Champions League.

Tchouameni is Real Madrid’s good luck charm

Before the Valencia fixture, Tchouameni had only featured as a centre-back when Ancelotti had just one centre-back available, namely Rudiger or Nacho.

It is to be noted that the defensive midfielder has formed a partnership with Rudiger in four instances (Osasuna, Alaves, Mallorca, and Valencia), with Nacho on two other occasions (Rayo Vallecano and Leipzig), and even with Dani Carvajal in the absence of centre-backs against Girona. 

Aurelien Tchouameni has been excellent in defence for Real Madrid this season. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

Remarkably, the team has not experienced a defeat with the Frenchman in the centre of the defence.

Ancelotti likes Tchouameni in defence

During the match agianst Valencia, Ancelotti made a significant change by breaking the Nacho-Rudiger pairing for the first time. He chose to bench the Spaniard, who arrived with minor discomfort, to make way for Tchouameni. 

This is because the Italian appreciates the physical and technical attributes of the Frenchman and the German.

Now, despite Tchouameni’s preference against playing in the central defender position, Ancelotti is convinced of his capabilities in that role. 

As of today, there is consideration of fielding the same lineup against Leipzig, which would mean once again relegating the captain to the bench and positioning him as the fifth alternative in defence.

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Real Madrid News

France manager talks Kylian Mbappe to Real Madrid, Tchouameni injury

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Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

After unveiling the final squad for France for the upcoming European Championship, coach Didier Deschamps appeared in front of the media to discuss the nation’s preparations for the tournament.

Deschamps was notably asked about Kylian Mbappe and his potential move to Real Madrid in the coming summer.

Deschamps on Mbappe announcement

When asked when Real Madrid may announce the signing of Mbappe, the French coach replied (h/t L’Equipe), “They will decide when it’s time to make it official. As far as possible, I will adapt to the squad.”

This comes on the back of earlier reports which claim that Real Madrid are desperate to announce the signing of Mbappe before the start of Euro 2024.

Mbappe might become a Real Madrid player before the start of Euro 2024 (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

The coveted tournament begins June 14, though France’s opening game is on June 18 as they take on Austria in the city of Dusseldorf.

Deschamps also dismissed concerns over Mbappe’s form, stating, “You don’t find Kylian Mbappé in good shape? He only scored 44 goals in the season. It’s true that he could have done better.”

Deschamps on Tchouameni’s fitness

As things stand, a total of three Real Madrid players are a part of the France squad for the European Championship.

One of them is Aurelien Tchouameni, who picked up a knock earlier this month which could keep him out of the upcoming Champions League final.

Deschamps, though, is not worried about his fitness and is hopeful of having the midfielder back for the Euros.

“Tchouaméni? I’m not worried. The deadline is too short for the UCL final but for the Euro it’s more than doable,” he said.

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