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Asensio, Tchouameni start in a 4-3-3: How Real Madrid could line up against Celta Vigo

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Photo by CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP via Getty Images

After picking up three wins in a row in all competitions, Real Madrid will be pushing to make it four in four when they lock horns with Celta Vigo at the Santiago Bernabeu later tonight in La Liga.

Real Madrid are currently 11 points behind leaders Barcelona in the table. But the Blaugrana have dropped points in their last two matches in La Liga and face a tough challenge in Atletico Madrid this weekend.

So, Real Madrid could ramp up the pressure on Xavi Hernandez & co. with a victory over Celta Vigo later tonight at the Bernabeu.

The Merengues will have to do so without the services of key defender David Alaba, who picked up an injury against Chelsea earlier this week. Meanwhile, Ferland Mendy and Alvaro Rodriguez also remain unavailable due to injuries.

Madrid Universal takes a look at how Carlo Ancelotti could set his team up for the visit of the Galician outfit tonight.

Starters

Carlo Ancelotti is likely to make a few changes to the team that started in the midweek game against Chelsea, keeping in mind the congested fixture schedule.

Starting off in defence, Nacho Fernandez and Lucas Vazquez are expected to come into the team, replacing Eduardo Camavinga and Dani Carvajal, respectively, in the full-back positions.

Eder Militao will be partnered by Antonio Rudiger at centre-back in David Alaba’s injury-enforced absence, while Thibaut Courtois mans the goal for Real Madrid as usual, looking for another clean sheet.

Tchouameni has a point to prove. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Multiple alterations could be on the cards in the middle of the park for Real Madrid, with Aurelien Tchouameni all but certain to replace Toni Kroos as the pivot midfielder in the three-man unit. Dani Ceballos is also expected to come into the team, with Luka Modric making way.

Federico Valverde could be the only member of the midfield unit that started against Chelsea, who is likely to keep his place in the lineup versus Celta Vigo.

As for the attacking line, Marco Asensio could be in line for a start as a reward for his impressive cameos off the bench in recent matches. The Spaniard is likely to occupy the right flank, with Rodrygo Goes being given a rest after his brace against Chelsea.

Karim Benzema has emerged unscathed from being stomped on the foot during the game against Chelsea, with Ancelotti confirming he will be involved tonight. The Real Madrid captain should spearhead the attack against Celta, with Vinicius Jr completing the frontline.

Vinicius · Benzema · Asensio
Ceballos · Tchouameni · Valverde
Nacho · Rudiger · Militao · Vazquez
Courtois

Substitutes

Rodrygo Goes, if he does not start, is certain to come on at some point in the second period, especially if Carlo Ancelotti decides to give Karim Benzema a breather. Meanwhile, Eduardo Camavinga could also come into the game in the second half to offer some reprieve to Fede Valverde.

Should the game be tied up, Real Madrid could also send on Jesus Vallejo in place of either Eder Militao or Antonio Rudiger. But if things are not going the team’s way, it will not be a surprise to see the likes of Luka Modric and Toni Kroos come on.

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MU Shorts

Four Real Madrid players that could leave in January due to lack of playtime

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Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Despite the acquisitions of Kylian Mbappe and Endrick, Real Madrid’s summer is far from over.

The newly crowned European champions could face pressure to offload a few of their first-team stars, on account of these new acquisitions.

With a few more stars likely to join the club in the coming summer, there are multiple Real Madrid players who may end up leaving Santiago Bernabeu, if not this summer, then perhaps in mid-season.

Here, at Madrid Universal, we will take a look at four such players who may leave Real Madrid in January 2025.

Rodrygo

What’s in store for Rodrygo this summer? (Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images)

The arrival of Mbappe throws a big question mark over Rodrygo’s future at the Bernabeu. The Brazilian winger has been a key player for Real Madrid in recent seasons, but his playing time is likely to be significantly impacted by Mbappe’s presence.

If Rodrygo finds himself consistently benched, a loan move or even a permanent transfer could be on the cards.

The Brazilian, in fact, has been linked with a move to a series of top Premier League clubs in recent weeks, with Liverpool even tabling an offer worth €120 million.

Although Real Madrid have rejected Rodrygo’s advances, the club are open to the attacker’s sale if any suitor comes up with an offer of €150 million.

Even if Rodrygo ends up remaining at Santiago Bernabeu, it won’t come as a surprise to see the attacker having to settle for a move elsewhere in January.

Dani Ceballos

Ceballos’ situation unlikely to improve. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Dani Ceballos’ story at Real Madrid this season has been all about injuries and bench appearances.

Due to the explosion of young stars such as Jude Bellingham, Eduardo Camavinga, Federico Valverde and Aurelien Tchouameni, Ceballos has found himself trailing in the pecking order.

Ceballos’ situation at Real Madrid has become more precarious even after Toni Kroos’ retirement, as the club are now reportedly considering the idea of accommodating Bellingham in a deeper midfield role.

Los Blancos are reportedly interested in keeping hold of the midfielder and there is still a chance the player could remain at the club this summer. But if he continues to struggle with game-time, a January exit could be on the cards.

Arda Guler

Guler may have to settle for a loan move in Jan. (Photo by JOSE JORDAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Arda Guler was one of Real Madrid’s biggest bets last summer, as the youngster arrived at Santiago Bernabeu with a lot of hype.

Although the Turk did not have the best of starts to the season, his rapid rise to prominence was one of Real Madrid’s biggest highlights during the final phase of the league campaign.

Guler notably ended the campaign with six goals in ten league appearances. However, the playmaker’s role at Real Madrid could be reduced once again, especially following the arrivals of Mbappe and Endrick.

If Real Madrid find Guler’s role minimised significantly during the first half of the campaign, they might consider a loan move for the Turkish international, who has been linked with a move to at least eight clubs across Europe.

Fran Garcia

Fran Garcia’s future could be called into question. (Photo by JORGE GUERRERO/AFP via Getty Images)

Similar to Guler, young left-back Fran Garcia hasn’t seen much action with the first team. While a talented player, he currently finds himself behind Ferland Mendy in the pecking order.

Garcia has featured in 25 league matches this term, but only 15 of them have been starts. His role in the squad could dwindle further next season as Real Madrid weigh a move for Alphonso Davies.

Coach Carlo Ancelotti has indicated that he wants Davies only as an addition to Mendy in the left-back position.

Fran Garcia might stay at Real Madrid even if Davies joins the club. But his limited role in the team may eventually force him to settle for a loan or even a permanent move elsewhere. In the event of a permanent exit, though, Real Madrid are likely to retain a buyback clause.

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