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

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Photo by Rafa Babot/Getty Images

Real Madrid will lock horns with a relegation-threatened Valencia outfit at the Mestalla on Sunday evening in the first of their remaining four La Liga matches of the season.

Real Madrid come into the game on the back of a disappointing week that saw them watch Barcelona win the league title and then get eliminated from the UEFA Champions League.

The team will still be reeling from the hammering at the hands of Manchester City but will want to produce a strong reaction and finish the season on a strong note, starting with a win against Los Che, who will also be gunning for three points to secure safety.

Carlo Ancelotti will be without the out-of-favour duo of Eden Hazard and Mariano Diaz tomorrow, with the pair missing due to injuries. Other than that, the Real Madrid boss has a full squad at his disposal, but could make some rotations against Valencia.

Here’s how Real Madrid could line up at the Mestalla as they look to bounce back to winning ways.

Starters

During the week, it was reported that Thibaut Courtois was dealing with an injury and could miss the Valencia encounter. However, the Belgian international has been named in the squad list and should start between the sticks.

There could, however, be a major shuffle in the defensive lineup in front of the goalkeeper. Lucas Vazquez, who recently became a father for the third time, will likely slot in at right-back ahead of Dani Carvajal, while Ferland Mendy is expected to start at left-back.

A chance to prove a point for Mendy? (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images)

Antonio Rudiger should feature as one of the centre-halves after his shock exclusion from the starting XI against Manchester City in midweek. The German international could be partnered by Nacho Fernandez, with David Alaba and Eder Militao dropping out of the team.

There should be a couple of alterations in the middle of the park as well. Aurelien Tchouameni should start at the base of the three-man midfield for Real Madrid, with Toni Kroos making way for the Frenchman.

Dani Ceballos, who has an ‘important offer’ from Aston Villa, should occupy one of the remaining midfield slots, with Federico Valverde completing the trifecta for the visitors.

Moving forward into the final third, Karim Benzema will start as the No. 9 and hope to close the gap to Robert Lewandowski in the race for the Pichichi Trophy. The veteran Frenchman will be supported by Vinicius Jr on the left flank while Marco Asensio should get the nod on the right.

Real Madrid Predicted XI: Courtois, Vazquez, Rudiger, Nacho, Mendy, Valverde, Tchouameni, Ceballos, Asensio, Benzema, Vinicius.

Substitutes

Rodrygo Goes is certain to come on at some point in the second half either to relieve Karim Benzema or add more threat in the final third. Luka Modric and Eduardo Camavinga could also be called up by the manager in case things are not going too well for Real Madrid on the evening.

Fringe players Jesus Vallejo and Alvaro Odriozola could also fancy their chances of getting some minutes on the pitch at the Mestalla.

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Camavinga, Tchouameni start in a 4-3-1-2: How Real Madrid could line up against Barcelona

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Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid will be aiming to get a step closer to lifting the La Liga title when they face off against FC Barcelona later tonight at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Real Madrid are currently seated atop the league table, eight points clear of Barça in second place. And another win tonight would stretch the lead to 11 points, all but guaranteeing their coronation as Spanish champions.

It will not be easy with Barcelona motivated after their defeat against PSG in the UEFA Champions League while fatigue could also be a factor after Los Blancos toiled it out for 120 minutes against Man City earlier this week.

Heading into the game, Real Madrid have one fitness concern as Ferland Mendy did not train on Saturday due to some overload in his left leg, although he was included in the squad list by Carlo Ancelotti.

Thibaut Courtois and David Alaba are the only injury-enforced absentees for the league leaders and here’s how Real Madrid could line up tonight against Xavi Hernandez’s side.

Starters

Fresh off his penalty shootout heroics against Manchester City, Andriy Lunin will guard Real Madrid’s goal again and hope to help his team to another crucial victory.

Antonio Rudiger has been in brilliant form this season and is a guaranteed starter at the heart of the Merengues’ defence. The German international should pair up with club captain Nacho Fernandez to stop Robert Lewandowski & co.

Even though there has been some chatter about Lucas Vazquez starting at right-back, Dani Carvajal is expected to get the nod as usual.

Mendy’s possible absence, however, could pave the way for Eduardo Camavinga to start at left-back for Real Madrid, with Ancelotti likely to trust the French midfielder in a makeshift role over Fran Garcia.

Camavinga could fill in at left-back. (Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images)

Aurelien Tchouameni is back after missing the Manchester City game through suspension and will slot in as the defensive midfielder against Barcelona.

Federico Valverde and Toni Kroos will take up the two interior midfield positions for Real Madrid while Jude Bellingham will operate as the lone attacking midfielder.

However, it will not be a surprise to see Real Madrid transition into a 4-4-2 with Valverde and Bellingham moving out wide on the right and left flanks, respectively.

Rodrygo Goes and Vinicius Jr. are the undisputed starters up top in attack, with the former likely to operate from the left after his recent success while the latter will play slightly more centrally.

Real Madrid Predicted Lineup: Lunin, Carvajal, Rudiger, Nacho, Camavinga, Tchouameni, Valverde, Kroos, Bellingham, Vinicius, Rodrygo.

Substitutes

Brahim Diaz and Luka Modric are players that Carlo Ancelotti counts on from the bench for every game and that will not change tonight against Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Joselu is also an option that Ancelotti could turn to if he wished to change things up in the attacking unit.

Eder Militao could also get some minutes, depending on the game situation, as Ancelotti hopes to get the Brazilian into match-rhythm in time to face Bayern Munich.

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