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



Photo by JORGE GUERRERO/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid will be aiming to extend their 100% winning run this season when they play hosts to Real Sociedad at the Santiago Bernabeu in Matchday 5 of La Liga on Sunday.

Prior to the international break, Los Blancos picked up four wins in four in the league, with their most recent game ending in a 2-1 victory, courtesy of a late Jude Bellingham winner.

All eyes will once again be on the England international at the Bernabeu, while Carlo Ancelotti is all set to welcome Dani Ceballos back into the squad for the first time this season.

Ferland Mendy has returned to training but is not ready for a return to action on Sunday while Arda Guler and Vinicius Jr are still some way away from a comeback. Eder Militao and Thibaut Courtois are long-term absentees.

With Barcelona playing Real Betis tonight, Real Madrid could find themselves trailing their arch-rivals in the table and will have their task cut against Imanol Alguacil’s side. With that in mind, here’s how Ancelotti could set his team up on Sunday.


Kepa Arrizabalaga seems the clear favourite in goal in the absence of Thibaut Courtois, with Andriy Lunin once again becoming the backup option despite starting the first two matches of the season.

There is unlikely to be any rotation in the defensive unit, as Dani Carvajal and Fran Garcia continue as the two full-backs on the right and left sides, respectively. Meanwhile, the central defensive pairing of David Alaba and Antonio Rudiger should also be retained.

The midfield department is where things get tricky for Ancelotti as far as selecting his team is concerned.

Aurelien Tchouameni’s imperious form and the lack of a natural backup in the defensive midfield role make him almost a guaranteed starter at the base of Ancelotti’s diamond setup in the centre.

Tchouameni has started the season very well. (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)

With the important UEFA Champions League encounter coming up next week, Ancelotti could decide to protect both his veteran midfield superstars Toni Kroos and Luka Modric for that game.

As such, Federico Valverde and Eduardo Camavinga should occupy the two interior positions in the middle of the park for Real Madrid.

Jude Bellingham is a guaranteed starter in the attacking midfield role for the Merengues and will be eager to add to his tally of five goals and continue his spectacular start to life in Spain.

With no Vinicius Jr, the attacking pair of Rodrygo Goes and Joselu pretty much picks itself against Real Sociedad.

Real Madrid Predicted Lineup: Kepa, Carvajal, Rudiger, Alaba, Garcia, Tchouameni, Valverde, Camavinga, Bellingham, Joselu, Rodrygo.


Luka Modric and Toni Kroos should feature off the bench at some point, with Ancelotti likely to turn to his most experienced players if there is a need for some control in the game.

Brahim Diaz has not had a lot of minutes since returning from AC Milan and will eager to make the most of his opportunity.

Dani Ceballos could be in line for his first appearance of the season, having made his return from injury.

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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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