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

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Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

Real Madrid will be looking to make it three wins in three on their pre-season tour of the USA when they lock horns with eternal rivals Barcelona tonight in a friendly encounter.

Los Blancos have so far secured victories against AC Milan and Manchester United as they continue their preparations for the 2023/24 season and will be gunning for another win, that too, against their arch-enemies at the AT&T Stadium tonight.

While Carlo Ancelotti & co. have had smooth sailing so far in their pre-season camp in the USA, the same cannot be said about Barcelona.

The Catalan giants saw their first friendly game against Juventus get cancelled due to a stomach bug affecting a large contingent in the squad. Following that, the La Liga champions fell to a 3-5 defeat to Arsenal earlier this week despite taking the lead twice in the game.

And, Real Madrid will look to compound their problems by handing them another loss tonight in Dallas. With Arda Guler the only absentee, here’s how Ancelotti could set his team up against Xavi’s Barcelona.

Starters

Thibaut Courtois did not play against AC Milan and missed the last game against Manchester United due to a minor niggle. And even though Andriy Lunin did well, the Belgian is expected to start against Barcelona tonight.

Shielding Courtois in goal will be the first-choice centre-back pairing of Eder Militao and David Alaba, with Antonio Rudiger and Nacho Fernandez being backup options for the Spanish capital club.

Dani Carvajal ought to occupy the right-back position for Real Madrid. On the left-side of the defence, new recruit Fran Garcia should get the nod ahead of Ferland Mendy.

Ancelotti has stuck with a four-man midfield diamond so far in pre-season and it is unlikely to be any different tonight when Los Blancos step out against their arch-rivals Barça.

Tchouameni to get another chance. (Photo by MARK FELIX/AFP via Getty Images)

Aurelien Tchouameni had a good game against Manchester United and should again feature in the holding midfield position, ahead of Toni Kroos.

Eduardo Camavinga has started the pre-season on a strong note and should feature as one of the interior midfielders, along with Luka Modric, who will be providing value experience to a young midfield unit that will be completed with in-form man Jude Bellingham as the No. 10.

Kroos, Federico Valverde, and Brahim Diaz will be options for Ancelotti for the second half, while young Nico Paz could also get a few minutes depending on the situation of the game.

Joselu scored a spectacular goal after coming on against Manchester United. However, the Real Madrid boss is expected to stick with the Brazilian duo of Rodrygo Goes and Vinicius Jr as his two-pronged attacking unit at the AT&T Stadium tonight.

Joselu will likely be called into action in the second period while Ancelotti could also look at Brahim as an option in attack if he feels the need to freshen things up.

Real Madrid Predicted Lineup: Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Garcia; Tchouameni; Modric, Camavinga; Bellingham; Rodrygo, Vinicius.

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MU Shorts

How can Euro 2024 stardom shape the future of Real Madrid’s teenage prodigy?

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Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Real Madrid and Turkey midfielder Arda Guler showcased his talent during Euro 2024, scoring a goal and assisting twice, firmly establishing himself as a key player for Turkey at just 19 years old. 

In the recent quarter-final match against the Netherlands, Guler’s exceptional skills were on full display when he provided a stunning assist to open the scoring. 

Demonstrating his technical prowess, Guler controlled the ball with his left foot and delivered a precise cross with his right, which, despite not being his dominant foot, highlighted his versatility.

Despite his strong efforts, though, the Dutch team managed to turn the game around within six minutes, dashing Turkey’s hopes of reaching the semi-finals. 

This outcome left Guler visibly dejected, but it also underscored his growing maturity. After the match, he took the time to console each of his teammates, showcasing leadership qualities beyond his years to emerge as one of the standout sensations of the Euros.

Real Madrid’s spot still in limbo?

With the tournament now behind him, questions arise about Guler’s future and what role he will play at Real Madrid in the upcoming 2024/2025 season. 

Arda Guler showcased leadership qualities beyond his age. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Last season, the young Turk struggled to secure significant playing time due to physical issues that plagued him for the first few months of the competition. 

However, his impressive performances towards the end of the season and at the European Championship may have changed his standing within the team.

As a result, Carlo Ancelotti, known for his ability to foster positive environments for his players, now faces the challenge of determining Guler’s role. 

His versatility allows him to play both in midfield and in attacking positions, but he will have to compete with established stars like Brahim Diaz, Rodrygo, Kylian Mbappe, and the young talent Endrick. The Italian coach must carefully consider how to integrate Guler into the squad effectively.

Ancelotti will be key to Guler’s future

The situation at Real Madrid appears challenging for Guler due to the fierce competition for limited spots, with many players deserving of a place in the team which is why Ancelotti’s decisions will be crucial in shaping Guler’s future at the club. 

Last season, his tenure was marred by injuries, and even when he was fit, Ancelotti often favoured more seasoned players. This preference was understandable, given that Guler’s return coincided with crucial matches in the latter half of the season.

Arda Guler scored a goal and assisted twice during Euro 2024. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

However, Guler has now proven his worth on the international stage, and his refusal to go out on loan indicates his determination to fight for a spot at Real Madrid. 

It will be fascinating to see how Ancelotti handles this situation and what opportunities he provides for Guler in the coming season.

Capping off a perfect journey

The young midfielder’s journey at the Euros has undoubtedly increased his profile, and his performance has likely caught the attention of many within the football world. 

As Guler continues to develop, his potential seems limitless. All this means that Real Madrid fans will now be eager to see how he fits into the team’s plans and whether he can secure a more prominent role. 

The upcoming season will be a crucial period for Guler, as he aims to build on his recent success and establish himself as a key player for both club and country.

In summary, Guler’s impressive showing at Euro 2024 has set the stage for an intriguing season ahead. His leadership and maturity, despite his young age, have marked him as a rising star in football. 

The challenge now lies with Carlo Ancelotti to harness Guler’s talent and integrate him effectively into a competitive Real Madrid squad. 

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