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Ancelotti set to bench veterans and give youngsters a chance – report



Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images

With the pre-season preparations done and dusted, Real Madrid are set to kickstart their 2023/24 La Liga campaign on Saturday when they take on Athletic Club.

After missing out on the league title last season, it will be imperative for Carlo Ancelotti to start the season on a positive note and get an early headstart.

Ancelotti likely to bench veterans

For a season opener, one would usually expect a team like Real Madrid to showcase their full strength and field the strongest eleven.

However, according to Jose Luis Sanchez, Carlo Ancelotti is expected to bench the veteran players in the first game against Athletic Club.

In their stead, Ancelotti is likely to field a set of youngsters. This was strictly the Italian’s idea, which barely comes as a surprise either.

Real Madrid have spent heavily on young talents in recent years. The majority of them are starting to mature as well.

Combined with the new additions this summer, the season opener could be an excellent platform for them to showcase their potential.

What could be the changes?

On a practical note, not every youngster will start against Athletic Club on Saturday.

However, the majority of the changes could come in midfield. Jose Luis Sanchez points out that Toni Kroos and Luka Modric are destined to be benched.

This could pave the way for Aurelien Tchouameni and new signing Jude Bellingham to start in the middle of the park.

The Englishman has played in an advanced midfield role so far and could continue in that position against the Basque outfit.

Elsewhere, Fran Garcia might get a nod following Ferland Mendy’s recent injury. Eduardo Camavinga could be an alternative in the position, though the Frenchman is more likely to start in midfield.

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Real Madrid News

Official: Real Madrid starting lineup against Atletico Madrid



Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images

Following Barcelona’s awe-inspiring comeback win against Celta Vigo yesterday, the pressure is on Real Madrid to regain top spot in La Liga as they travel to Civitas Metropolitano to lock horns against Atletico Madrid.

The first Madrid derby of the season will not feature Vinicius Jr, who had to pull out of the travelling squad today due to a stomach bug.

Jude Bellingham has been given the green light, though, and is likely starting as the out and out striker for this game, with Joselu benched. The Englishman is joined by Rodrygo by his side, while Luka Modric plays behind them as the attacking midfielder.

Behind this trio, Toni Kroos has been handed the keys as the pivot, with Aurelien Tchouameni benched. Eduardo Camavinga starts alongside Federico Valverde as the central midfielders.

Lucas Vazquez fills in for the injured Daniel Carvajal at right-back, while Fran Garcia comes back to take over his left-back spot from Nacho. David Alaba and Antonio Rudiger round off the quadrant in central defence, screening Kepa in goal.

Confirmed Madrid XI: Kepa; Vazquez, Rudiger, Alaba, Garcia; Valverde, Kroos, Camavinga; Modric; Rodrygo, Bellingham

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