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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta brushes off Real Madrid rumours: “Fully focused”



Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

Despite winning it all since his return to Real Madrid for a second managerial spell, Carlo Ancelotti is on the edge. The Italian tactician has come under severe pressure following his team’s poor run of form over the past month and reports say he could face the axe.

Mikel Arteta is one of the prime candidates to replace the departing coach in the Spanish capital, for his ideas and methods are highly valued at Real Madrid offices.

The Spanish manager has done a phenomenal job with the Gunners over his tenure at the club. His team sit atop the Premier League with 63 points in 26 games, five points clear of second-placed Manchester City. Needless to say, the London-based side are best placed to win the English League.

Under his leadership, Arsenal have won 99 of their 165 matches across all competitions and average close to two points per game. They also happen to be the favourites to win the Europa League this season and hence a special double.

His fearless attacking brand of football appeals to those in charge of Real Madrid’s administration.

With the links doing the rounds, the Arsenal manager was asked about a move future at Real Madrid. As revealed by Simon Collings, he said: “I am fully focused on what I am doing here.”

Arteta is not the only name under consideration at Real Madrid. Raul Gonzalez, who has done a fabulous job at the Castilla so far, is unsurprisingly a well-placed candidate to take over from Ancelotti. Moreover, reports say that Mauricio Pochettino also has a strong chance.

Ancelotti thus does not have much margin for error for the stars seem to have his departure written on them. The path to saving his job is tedious, but two El Clasico wins and a hammering of Liverpool at the Santiago Bernabeu would be a good place to start.

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Real Madrid News

Official: Real Madrid starting lineup against Elche



Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

The Santiago Bernabeu is ready for the first time in a fortnight as Real Madrid are set to host relegation-threatened Real Valladolid for gameweek 27 of La Liga. The gap between them and Barcelona was increased to 15 yesternight, and los blancos will be looking to cut it down to 12 to scarce the tiniest bit of hope of defending their league crown.

Carlo Ancelotti has opted to use a highly attacking starting lineup for the clash, with Karim Benzema spearheading the front-three. He is flanked by Marco Asensio on the right while Vinicius Jr retains his place on the left.

Rodrygo also gets the nod to start, probably as an attacking midfielder in what looks like a 4-2-3-1.

Aurelien Tchouameni has been given the nod in midfield, with Toni Kroos forming the double pivot alongside him.

With Antonio Rudiger, Ferland Mendy, and Nacho out injured, Eduardo Camavinga gets the license to start as the left-back, while Lucas Vazquez flanks the defence from the right. The usual suspects — Eder Militao and David Alaba — start in central defence.

Thibaut Courtois was a doubt heading into this game, but has been given the medical greenlight to take his place as the goalkeeper.

Madrid XI: Courtois; Vazquez, Militao, Alaba, Camavinga; Tchouameni, Kroos; Asensio, Rodrygo, Vinicius; Benzema

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