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Ancelotti to rotate heavily against Getafe, three out-of-favour stars could start – report



Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP via Getty Images

The story of Real Madrid and Carlo Ancelotti has really revolved around two competitions in recent weeks – the Copa del Rey and the UEFA Champions League.

Los Blancos tasted glory in the Spanish Cup when they downed Osasuna in a hard-fought finale last Saturday. They were crowned the champions on the night but did not have much time to celebrate considering the tight schedule.

Last night, the men in white played hosts to Manchester City in the first leg of the semifinal of the UCL. The high-voltage fixture ended 1-1, and there is everything to play for when the two teams meet next week in the second and deciding leg of the tie.

According to reports from AS (h/t Madrid Xtra), Ancelotti has all his attention focused on the trip to England. The manager does not have any interest in prioritising the weekend’s game against Getafe in La Liga and is expected to rotate almost the entire XI on Sunday.

Considering that the team which started against Manchester City was the Merengues‘ strongest XI, they are expected to start a relatively fringe-player-centered lineup in the upcoming La Liga clash.

Players like Eden Hazard, Jesus Vallejo and Mariano Diaz, who have played few minutes all season, are expected to be the protagonists.

Considering the situation in La Liga, Ancelotti’s decision is in the team’s best interest. Barcelona find themselves just three points away from mathematically sealing the title and could be named champions when they take on Espanyol at the weekend. That said, spending any resources on the league for Real Madrid would be a futile move.

One can thus expect rotations right from the goalkeeper on the night. Andriy Lunin could start in between the sticks with the likes of Vallejo, Nacho Fernandez, and Alvaro Odriozola starting in the four-man defensive line. Militao could be the fourth member in defence considering that he did not play a part last night.

As such, Aurelien Tchouameni could start in midfield. Mariano, Marco Asensio, and Hazard could feature in midfield, while there may also be an opportunity for youngsters like Sergio Arribas and Nico Paz.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid have not ‘given up’ on Karim Benzema’s renewal yet – report



Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images

The cloud of uncertainty over Karim Benzema’s future has served as a major headache for the Real Madrid board, as they kickstart their team planning ahead of the new season.

Recent reports claim the Frenchman is strongly considering a move to Saudi Arabia, after receiving a lucrative €150 million offer from Al Ittihad. He was close to renewing his contract at Santiago Bernabeu not too long ago, but it appears the tables have turned lately.

Nevertheless, Real Madrid are yet to give up on Benzema and still harbour hopes of renewing his contract in the coming weeks, reports Alfredo Matilla.

The Spanish journalist suggests Real Madrid have not closed the file on Benzema. Coach Carlo Ancelotti has recently met the forward to clarify his future and it appears the club are set to do everything they can to keep hold of the player.

Benzema’s departure, after all, could put the club in a major dilemma, where they must either sign a top-class striker or settle for a low-cost alternative for the entirety of next season.

Harry Kane has been earmarked as the ideal replacement for Benzema. But his acquisition could potentially jeopardise Real Madrid’s bid to sign either Erling Haaland or Kylian Mbappe in 2024. The club have also faced difficulties negotiating with Daniel Levy, the Spurs chairman.

As far as the low-cost options are concerned, Real Madrid are interested in Roberto Firmino, who will become a free agent in the summer.

However, the Brazilian international is not the most productive striker around and his struggles in front of goal could put more pressure on players like Vinicius Junior next season.

Real Madrid, therefore, will hope to keep hold of Benzema’s services for another year. Unfortunately, though, the player has given a cold response so far and left training early, without speaking too much.

So it will be interesting to see whether or not the veteran striker opts to remain at Bernabeu for another year.

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