The pre-season gives managers the freedom to experiment with little on the line. The glorified friendly fixtures help them get an idea of the talent at their disposal and the various combinations they can hope to use during the season.
Carlo Ancelotti has done complete justice so far on that front. The Italian tactician has used different systems across the team’s three games so far and utilised even several fringe players in his dynamics.
According to reports from AS, the trend will continue in tonight’s game against Juventus. The manager hopes to use those players who had little to no minutes in El Clasico in the starting lineup against the Old Lady.
One can expect Thibaut Courtois to hold onto his starting spot, given that he missed the team’s first two pre-season games through injury.
David Alaba and Eder Militao will likely be replaced by Antonio Rudiger and Nacho Fernandez in central defence. Lucas Vazquez is well-placed to start at right-back, while Ferland Mendy’s injury assures Fran Garcia of a place at left-back.
One can expect Toni Kroos to anchor the team as the pivot on the night with Luka Modric and Eduardo Camavinga deployed ahead of him. While Bellingham’s performances demand another start, Nico Paz would be an interesting choice for Ancelotti in the attacking midfield role.
Vinicius Jr and Joselu could claim the final spots on the roster. The former is Ancelotti’s go-to man in the final third, and it is difficult to see the team play without him on the field.
Joselu, meanwhile, will be critical in depositing the chances created on the night into the back of the net. Real Madrid struggled with the finishing touch against Barcelona, and the Spaniard is Ancelotti’s best bet to turn things around.
Real Madrid starlet will not return from injury till November – reports
Life at Real Madrid has gotten off to a rather torrid start for Turkish starlet Arda Guler, who has already faced a large number of setbacks since singing for Los Blancos.
Aged just 18, the winger-slash-midfielder has already picked up seven injuries in his senior career, which is cause for serious concern, especially since a couple of them have affected his ligaments – which is always bad news.
Hotly-tipped to be an exciting addition to the Madrid squad going forward, the youngster had to drop out of their pre-season tour early due to a meniscus injury.
This was treated conservatively, but after that did not yield good results, he had to undergo a procedure and seemed set to make the squad against Las Palmas, before another injury setback.
According to Diario AS, the new problem can keep him out for three weeks to a month, which means his Real Madrid debut may have to wait till early November, after the first El Clasico of the season on 28th October.
Guler’s history of fitness problems
In their report, AS also state that the Turkish teenager seems to have a propensity for injuries, accumulating seven of them in his career already.
There is also word going around that his recovery from this meniscus issue was rushed and not handled adequately.
That, combined with a stroke of bad luck means Real Madrid have to be very mindful of how Guler is reintegrated into the squad going forward.
This new injury is reportedly a thigh problem which will also need to be treated with caution.
A special recovery plan
Carlo Ancelotti stated before and after the Las Palmas clash that the plan was for Guler to have some minutes against the Canary Islanders, but he said that genetics, luck and a lack of sharpness have a big part to play in this relapse.
The Italian manager did say that this issue is not as serious, but all signs indicate that there is an urgent need to work on the youngster’s conditioning.
AS thus say that a specific plan has been devised since the summer to enhance Guler’s fitness and his resistance.
This is a programme that is reportedly similar to the one Rodrygo followed when he arrived from Brazil, much thinner than he is today, but without having sacrificed his football qualities.