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Bellingham, Kepa start in a 4-4-2: How Real Madrid could line up against Celta Vigo



Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images

Real Madrid will be aiming to make it three wins in three in the 2023/24 La Liga season when they lock horns with Celta Vigo at the Balaidos on Friday night.

Carlo Ancelotti’s men have started the season on a strong note, securing impressive victories against Athletic Club and UD Almeria, both away from home, in the first two Matchweeks.

And, Los Blancos will be aiming to continue building momentum and complete a hat-trick of victories leading up to their first home match of the campaign next week.

Real Madrid will come up against a resolute Celta Vigo side, led by former Merengues’ manager Rafael Benitez. The Galician outfit are yet to win a game in the new season and will be eager to set that record straight, especially on the occasion of their centenary.

Real Madrid will fly to Celta Vigo without Thibaut Courtois, Eder Militao, and Arda Guler. Meanwhile, Dani Ceballos and Ferland Mendy are closing in on a return, but are not ready to travel to Balaidos tomorrow.

Here’s how Ancelotti could line his Real Madrid team up against Benitez’s men on Friday night.


Real Madrid are set to have a new debutant tomorrow as loan signing Kepa Arrizabalaga will be starting in goal ahead of Andriy Lunin, as confirmed by Ancelotti in his presser.

The Spaniard will be shielded by the back-four comprising Dani Carvajal and Fran Garcia as the full-backs on the right and left sides, respectively, with Antonio Rudiger and David Alaba at the centre.

Aurelien Tchouameni has made an exceptional start to the new season and is close to returning to his best level after a dip in form earlier this year. The Frenchman is nailed on to continue in the anchor role in midfield.

Similarly, Jude Bellingham has simply been outstanding in his first two official matches for Real Madrid. Currently the top scorer in La Liga, the 20-year-old rising star is a guaranteed starter in the attacking midfield position.

Real Madrid’s men in form. (Photo by CESAR MANSO/AFP via Getty Images)

The two interior midfield positions could see some changes as Ancelotti might finally hand Luka Modric his first start of the new campaign.

Eduardo Camavinga should also return to the lineup after recovering fully from his discomfort, which led to him being benched last time out. Federico Valverde and Toni Kroos will make way.

Up ahead in attack, there is simply no looking past the Brazilian star duo of Rodrygo Goes and Vinicius Jr, both of whom will be keen on adding to their goal tally.

Real Madrid Predicted XI: Kepa, Carvajal, Rudiger, Alaba, Garcia, Tchouameni, Modric, Camavinga, Bellingham, Rodrygo, Vinicius.


Federico Valverde should come on at some point during the game to relieve Luka Modric and add more energy and legs to the midfield unit. Ancelotti could also call upon Toni Kroos to help Real Madrid control the game.

Brahim Diaz has not had many minutes so far, but will be eager to make the most of whatever chance comes his way, with the same holding true for Joselu as well.

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MU Shorts

Modric, Camavinga start in a 4-4-2: How Real Madrid could line up against Union Berlin



Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

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.

Set for his first start of 2023/24. (Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)

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.

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