Real Madrid will kick off their pre-season tour of the United States of America when they face AC Milan in their first of their four friendly encounters on Sunday night (Monday 4 am CET).
The game will be played at the Rose Bowl Stadium in California with Los Blancos looking to make a solid start to their preparations for the 2023/24 campaign.
Carlo Ancelotti has admitted to trying different shapes and tactics heading into the new season and will get an opportunity to test out his new ideas in a match against the Rossoneri and see how things work out.
Fans will also get a look at the new signings such as Jude Bellingham, Fran Garcia, and Joselu. Arda Guler’s involvement is under doubt after he missed training on Saturday due to discomfort in his leg. Alvaro Odriozola is another player likely to miss out tomorrow after he also did not train on Saturday due to overload.
There could be surprises in store from Ancelotti as far as the team selection for the match against Milan is concerned. And here we take a look at how Real Madrid could line up at the Rose Bowl Stadium on Sunday.
Thibaut Courtois has been the undisputed starter in goal for Real Madrid and is expected to retain his place in the lineup, but Andriy Lunin could get some minutes in the second half.
In front of the goalkeeper, Dani Carvajal is expected to slot in at right-back while new signing Fran Garcia should get a run-out at left-back after impressing in training so far. Lucas Vazquez and Ferland Mendy should replace them respectively at some point in the second half.
The manager had tried out the defensive pairing of Antonio Rudiger and Nacho Fernandez in training and could stick with the same, to give the latter a chance to lead the team out as the club captain following Karim Benzema’s exit.
As far as the midfield is concerned, Ancelotti has been experimenting with a four-man unit in a diamond formation so far in training. And there is a very good chance that he will test the tactic against Milan.
Based on the teams that Ancelotti tried in training earlier in the week, Eduardo Camavinga could line up as the lone pivot over Aurelien Tchouameni.
Federico Valverde and Luka Modric would be the two interior midfielders while blockbuster new signing Jude Bellingham starts at the tip as the No. 10.
After half-time, the manager could switch to the quartet of Tchouameni, Toni Kroos, Nico Paz, and Arda Guler, provided the latter is fit to feature.
Up top, it will be interesting to see how Ancelotti goes about his selection with just one natural striker at his disposal. The manager paired Joselu up with Vinicius Jr in a training match and could try that combination out on Sunday, with Rodrygo and Brahim Diaz likely coming in as changes for the second half.
Real Madrid Predicted XI: Courtois; Carvajal, Rudiger, Nacho, Garcia; Camavinga; Valverde, Modric; Bellingham; Joselu, Vinicius.
Modric, Camavinga start in a 4-4-2: How Real Madrid could line up against Union Berlin
Real Madrid will begin their quest for their 15th European crown as they start the 2023/24 UEFA Champions League season against Union Berlin in Group C tonight at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Real Madrid have made a solid start to the season, winning five in five in La Liga, although they have not always been convincing victories.
But Los Blancos have found a way to collect maximum points from difficult situations and will be eager to carry forward that form and momentum into Europe’s premier club competition.
Leading up to the game, Real Madrid have greeted both good and bad news on the injury front. Ferland Mendy is back in the squad for the match, which comes in as a big positive, while both Arda Guler and Vinicius Jr are closing in on a return.
However, onto bad news, in-form right-back Dani Carvajal picked up an injury and has been ruled out of the contest, and could potentially miss the derby against Atletico Madrid later this week.
With less than 12 hours left before kickoff, here’s how Real Madrid could line up against the German opposition, who are debuting in the UEFA Champions League.
With no Thibaut Courtois in the mix, on-loan goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga appears to be the preferred choice in goal ahead of Andriy Lunin. As such, the Spaniard should keep his place between the sticks tonight for Real Madrid against Union Berlin.
Dani Carvajal’s absence will see Lucas Vazquez start at right-back, as was confirmed by Carlo Ancelotti during his press conference. Meanwhile, Fran Garcia should make his UCL debut, slotting in at left-back despite the availability of Ferland Mendy.
At the heart of the defence, it is unlikely that Ancelotti will change the pairing of Antonio Rudiger and David Alaba, with captain Nacho Fernandez once again featuring off the bench.
As has been the case throughout this season, it is the midfield department that Ancelotti will have some major decisions to make.
Aurelien Tchouameni has been in fine form as the defensive midfielder this campaign, but the Frenchman could be rested tonight, with his compatriot, Eduardo Camavinga. starting as the lone pivot.
Meanwhile, Federico Valverde, who was on target against Real Sociedad over the weekend, should continue as one of the interiors, even though he recently revealed that he has been playing with an injured arm.
Luka Modric should make his second start of the season for Los Blancos, replacing fellow veteran Toni Kroos in the starting XI. Jude Bellingham will occupy the tip of the midfield diamond for Los Blancos.
As has been the case during Vinicius Jr’s absence, Rodrygo Goes and in-form forward Joselu will form the strike partnership up top.
Real Madrid Predicted Lineup: Kepa, Vazquez, Rudiger, Alabal, Garcia, Camavinga, Valverde, Modric, Bellingham, Rodrygo, Joselu.
Toni Kroos is certain to come on at some point in the second period to help Real Madrid provide control in the game. Fellow veteran Nacho Fernandez is also likely to be called upon to relieve one of the defenders.
Dani Ceballos and Ferland Mendy could make their first appearances of the season after their injury layoffs, while Brahim Diaz is also expected to get some minutes.