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

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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.

Starters

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

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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