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Bellingham, Vinicius start in a 4-4-2: How Real Madrid could line up against Man United



Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Even though it is just a pre-season friendly, the meeting between two of the biggest clubs in the world, Real Madrid and Manchester United, is bound to generate a great amount of excitement among the fans.

The two European behemoths will lock horns later tonight at the NRG Stadium in Houston as they continue preparations for the 2023/24 campaign.

Real Madrid head into the game on the back of a 3-2 comeback win over AC Milan in their first pre-season encounter. Meanwhile, Manchester United began their preparations with a 2-0 win over Arsenal over the weekend.

With the Clasico against Barcelona up next, Carlo Ancelotti & co. will be aiming to warm up for that clash with a victory. But, Erik ten Hag’s Red Devils will pose a challenge for the Spanish capital outfit.

Real Madrid were without Arda Guler for the game against AC Milan and he is expected to miss out against Manchester United. Here’s how Los Blancos could line up against the English giants.


Thibaut Courtois did not train with the rest of the group on Tuesday due to minor discomfort, but is expected to start in goal ahead of Andriy Lunin, who conceded twice against AC Milan.

The entire defensive line could be switched up by Ancelotti as Dani Carvajal, Antonio Rudiger, David Alaba, and new signing Fran Garcia could feature after not starting against the Rossoneri.

Lucas Vazquez, Eder Militao, Nacho Fernandez, and Ferland Mendy will make way for the quartet but could feature in the second period.

Aurelien Tchouameni has found himself linked with an exit from the Bernabeu, but Real Madrid and Ancelotti retain faith in him. And this would be an opportunity for the Frenchman to showcase his quality and win back his spot in the starting XI for next season.

A big chance for Aurelien Tchouameni. (Photo by ANDER GILLENEA/AFP via Getty Images)

Ancelotti is expected to try out a 4-4-2 diamond setup once again tonight against Man United, meaning Tchouameni would slot in as the lone pivot. Luka Modric and Eduardo Camavinga should feature as the two interior midfielders for the Merengues as they look to take on former teammate Casemiro.

Veteran star Toni Kroos, Federico Valverde, and 18-year-old academy product Nico Paz could receive minutes after the half-time break.

Jude Bellingham, who impressed the manager in the Milan clash, should continue at the tip of Real Madrid’s diamond midfield setup. His quality on the ball and ability to score goals could make him a major threat to the opposition.

As far as the frontline is concerned, the Real Madrid manager has only one recognised centre-forward at his disposal in the form of Joselu. However, the new signing is unlikely to start against Manchester United.

Instead, Ancelotti could pair up the Brazilian duo of Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo Goes in attack, while the likes of Brahim Diaz and Joselu could come on in the second half.

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

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MU Shorts

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



Photo by JORGE GUERRERO/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid have an excellent chance to climb up to the top of the La Liga table when they lock horns with Girona away at Estadi Montilivi later today.

Real Madrid are currently third in the standings, two points behind leaders Barcelona, who picked up a 1-0 win over Sevilla on Friday night.

And Los Blancos’ opponents of today evening, Girona, are second in the table, a point clear of Carlo Ancelotti’s side.

With a crucial match against Napoli coming up next week, it is imperative that Real Madrid continue building winning momentum with a victory against Girona tonight.

However, they will go into the game without Eder Militao, Thibaut Courtois, Arda Guler, and David Alaba, who is the latest player to get injured.

Ancelotti, however, does have Antonio Rudiger at his disposal, with the German international recovering from the knock he picked up against Las Palmas earlier this week. Ahead of an exciting clash tonight, here’s how Real Madrid could line up against Girona at Estadi Montilivi.


Kepa Arrizabalaga has become the first-choice goalkeeper for Real Madrid in the absence of Thibaut Courtois and will be aiming to keep another clean sheet after doing so against Las Palmas.

There will be alterations made in the backline, with Dani Carvajal expected to start at right-back after having made his return from injury earlier this week and not played any minutes against Las Palmas.

Meanwhile, captain Nacho Fernandez should move into the centre-back position alongside Antonio Rudiger in the absence of David Alaba while Fran Garcia should slot in at left-back, coming in for Ferland Mendy.

Toni Kroos to start? (Photo by THOMAS COEX/AFP via Getty Images)

There will be tweaks made in the middle of the park as well, with Toni Kroos, who is unhappy with his role at Real Madrid, expected to start at the expense of Federico Valverde.

Jude Bellingham is also in line to return to the starting lineup, coming in for Brahim Diaz, who scored his first goal of the season vs Las Palmas. Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga should retain their spots in the team.

Moving upfield into the attacking unit, Ancelotti has all but confirmed that star forward Vinicius Jr is set to start for Real Madrid against Girona. The Brazilian made his comeback from injury against Las Palmas and should be ready for a starting berth tonight.

As for his partner, Joselu, who was on target in midweek, should continue in the forward line, with Rodrygo Goes being given a break amidst his misfiring form in front of goal.


Brahim Diaz and Rodrygo Goes would certainly be coming off the bench at some point during the match against Girona.

Lucas Vazquez should come on for Dani Carvajal at some point in the second period, with the latter only recently recovering from an injury.

Ferland Mendy could also get some minutes, possibly even as a centre-back, if Ancelotti decides to give Rudiger a breather in the latter stages keeping in mind the match against Napoli.

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