Real Madrid will look to build on their 2-0 win over Chelsea in midweek and come away with three points when they take on Cadiz at Estadio Nuevo Mirandilla in La Liga.
Having lost their last league game against Villarreal, Carlo Ancelotti & co. have fallen 13 points behind league leaders Barcelona and are pretty much out of the reckoning as far as the title is considered.
But, with the Copa del Rey and UEFA Champions League still up for grabs, it is important for the Merengues to keep a winning momentum going.
Following their midweek excursion against Chelsea and keeping in mind the trip to Stamford Bridge next week, Ancelotti is likely to make a lot of rotations against Cadiz tonight.
Thibaut Courtois’ presence in the lineup is a certainty for Real Madrid. The Belgian international has once again proven himself to be a clutch player for the Merengues and will look for a clean sheet against Cadiz.
There could be several changes in defence tonight as the likes of Dani Carvajal, David Alaba and Eduardo Camavinga are set to be rested. It should pave the way for Lucas Vazquez to start at right-back while Antonio Rudiger and Eder Militao could pair up at the centre.
With Ferland Mendy still out injured and Camavinga in for a rest, Nacho Fernandez becomes a certainty to feature at left-back.
Major changes are also expected in midfield as Toni Kroos misses out with a niggle while Luka Modric is also likely to be rested keeping in mind the next game against Chelsea.
This should pave the way for Aurelien Tchouameni to start as the pivot midfielder while he will likely be supported by Dani Ceballos and Federico Valverde in the centre of the park.
With Vinicius Jr out due to an adductor strain, his compatriot Rodrygo Goes should move to the left flank for Real Madrid against Cadiz. Meanwhile, Marco Asensio, who scored a goal coming off the bench against Chelsea, should get the nod on the right flank.
Captain and ace goalscorer Karim Benzema will spearhead the attack for Real Madrid at Estadio Nuevo Mirandilla tonight.
Rodrygo · Benzema · Asensio
Ceballos · Tchouameni · Valverde
Nacho · Rudiger · Militao · Vazquez
Given the lack of options in attack on the bench, one might see Eden Hazard getting a rare opportunity to make an impression in the second half. Carlo Ancelotti might throw on fringe players like Jesus Vallejo and Alvaro Odriozola at some point in the latter stages of the game, especially if things are under his team’s control.
In case Real Madrid are finding it difficult to get over the line, we might see the likes of Luka Modric and Eduardo Camavinga enter the fray as well.
Brahim, Modric start in a 4-4-2: How Real Madrid could line up against Rayo Vallecano
Real Madrid have an excellent opportunity to extend their lead at the top of the La Liga table to eight points when they travel to Estadio de Vallecas to take on Rayo Vallecano on Sunday afternoon.
Real Madrid are currently five points clear of second-placed Girona and with the Catalans not playing until Monday night, Los Blancos have a chance to stretch their advantage with a win tomorrow.
Momentum is also on the side of Carlo Ancelotti’s men after they picked up two crucial victories against Girona (La Liga) and RB Leipzig (UEFA Champions League) over the past week.
But, Rayo Vallecano, who have a new manager in place in Inigo Perez, had managed to hold Real Madrid to a goalless draw in the reverse fixture at the Santiago Bernabeu. So, the game will not be straightforward on Sunday.
Here’s how Real Madrid could line up at the Vallecas as they look to take another step towards winning the La Liga title.
Andriy Lunin has firmly established himself as the preferred choice in goal ahead of Kepa Arrizabalaga. As such, the Ukrainian should again start for Real Madrid against Rayo Vallecano.
There will be one change in the defensive line that took the field against Leipzig in midweek as Fran Garcia will step into the team at left-back with Ferland Mendy out of the squad due to suspension.
Antonio Rudiger, David Alaba, and Eder Militao are still injured, which means Aurelien Tchouameni will once again have to fill in at centre-back where he will partner captain Nacho Fernandez. Meanwhile, Dani Carvajal should continue on the right side of the defence.
Tchouameni starting in defence means one can expect Eduardo Camavinga to occupy the pivot position in the middle of the park for Real Madrid.
However, there could be a notable change in midfield, with Luka Modric getting a rare start after a period of inactivity, with Toni Kroos getting a breather. Federico Valverde will occupy the other interior midfield position for the visitors.
Brahim Diaz came off with a fitness issue against RB Leipzig in midweek, but is not injured and has been named in the squad list. Given his form, the Spaniard should again start in the hole behind the two forwards in the absence of Jude Bellingham, who is injured.
Up top, there is no looking past the Brazilian dynamic duo of Rodrygo Goes and Vinicius Jr, both of whom will be raring to get on the scoresheet after not scoring against Leipzig.
Joselu is certain to come onto the pitch at some point in the game to provide a different kind of threat in the attacking third. Toni Kroos should also come off the bench, especially if things are not going Real Madrid’s way.
There could also be minutes for Arda Guler, who has not seen as much action as one would have expected since returning from injury. Dani Ceballos is also an option for Ancelotti if he wishes to relieve one of his midfielders.