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Benzema, Camavinga start in a 4-3-3: How Real Madrid could lineup against Valladolid

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Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Jose Zorilla will see Real Madrid’s first action after the restart of club football on Friday night. Carlo Ancelotti’s side face off against Pacheta’s men in a fixture they have not lost since 2008. Yet, one cannot predict the form of either team coming off a long hiatus.

Valladolid sit 13th on the league table with five wins in fourteen games. Their start to the new season has been far from ideal, but it is equally true that Real Madrid have not hit top gear yet this season.

With 24 games left in the season, it is time for the men in white to fasten their seatbelts and press the accelerator. The right start tomorrow could serve to propel them to good momentum, but a loss at Valladolid would be devastating.

Madrid Universal brings you the predicted lineup ahead of Real Madrid’s awaited clash tomorrow.

Starters

To have conceded fourteen goals in fourteen appearances is not something one would usually associate with Real Madrid. Yet, such has been the story of the Whites this season – starkly underwhelming in defence.

Thibaut Courtois has failed to keep a single clean sheet in ten La Liga appearances so far this season. While the Belgian is certainly not the only party responsible for the despicable numbers, he will be amongst the most determined to turn it around on Friday.

Courtois’ goal will be guarded by the centre-back pairing of Antonio Rudiger and David Alaba. The former had a decent campaign for the German national team in Qatar but still has a lot to prove when given a chance by the manager. Meanwhile, his defensive partner is coming back from a month-long break from football.

AlaBack. (Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Getty Images)

A lot has been said about Ferland Mendy and his poor attacking ability recently. The youngster will be under the limelight now more than ever and must turn up big to shut his haters and solidify his place in Ancelotti’s plans. He could start at left-back.

The duties on the other side of defence will likely be taken by Daniel Carvajal who had little to contribute to Luis Enrique’s set-up in the past month. He is as fresh as the day he left and will look to dominate Sergio Escudero on the night.

Luka Modric, Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga will all be available at the manager’s disposal at Jose Zorilla, but it is only the 20-year-old who has a chance to start. Needless to say, Tchouameni and Modric deserve the rest after phenomenal runs in Qatar.

Camavinga will likely start alongside Toni Kroos and Federico Valverde against Real Valladolid. The German has been a regular difference-maker for Real Madrid this season, averaging close to two key passes per game.

Meanwhile, Valverde’s campaign so far has been nothing short of flabbergasting, as he boasts of six goals and two assists in just 14 appearances. Back home after a long break, the youngster will look to take his career-best season to new heights.

Vinicius Jr. was one of Brail’s primary protagonists on the field last month. He started four games, scoring one goal and providing two assists. Back in the white colours of Real Madrid, the young phenom will start on the left wing and get straight back to business.

The protege could be accompanied by Marco Asensio on the right wing at Jose Zorilla as Ancelotti tries a formula rarely used before in the season.

The Spaniard may have endured a difficult start to the season, but all signals point that his importance in the team will only grow from this point on.

The final piece in the starting XI will be Karim Benzema. The French striker has been all over the news in the last week after his ex-agent publicly revealed that the striker was fit for France’s knockout games in the World Cup but was sent home by Deschamps for personal vengeance.

Having announced his international retirement, Benzema’s full focus is now on Real Madrid. On Friday night, he will look to grab the new start by the collar and blitz out his best moves.

Vinicius · Benzema · Asensio
Valverde · Kroos · Valverde
Mendy · Alaba · Rudiger · Carvajal
Courtois

Substitutions

Luka Modric is a player who just cannot be kept out of the action for long. Despite his ripe age and recent fatigue, he could be involved in the second half.

Aurelien Tchouameni has already proven to be a gem on the biggest stages in the world and is indispensable to Ancelotti’s plans. He could come on in the second half for Camavinga.

Dani Ceballos and Lucas Vazquez could be called upon to bring fresh legs, and Ancelotti could also deploy Rodrygo to shuffle the attack.

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Features

Five players who will be fixed starters for Real Madrid next season

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Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images

Following a successful campaign, Real Madrid are poised for significant changes in their roster due to a combination of player arrivals and departures.

The responsibility of blending new faces with established stars will fall to coach Carlo Ancelotti and his staff as they aim to maintain the club’s competitive edge domestically and in Europe.

And to predict the team’s probable strategy and performance amidst these changes, it is imperative to identify the key players who will be constant starters.

Kylian Mbappe

The new talisman. (Photo by ROMAIN PERROCHEAU/AFP via Getty Images)

With Real Madrid no longer viewing Mbappe through rose-tinted lenses and finally being able to dress him in the royal white jersey, the Frenchman is expected to be one of the first names on the team sheet.

Owing to his instinctive nature to find the back of the net, he is poised to be paired alongside Vinicius Jr. in attack.

Last season, the 2018 World Cup winner scored a whopping 44 goals in all competitions. Thus Real Madrid will be banking heavily on Mbappe’s ability to ask questions of opposition defenders in the final third.

It is being said that Mbappe is all set to wear the iconic number 9 jersey at Real Madrid, which is indicative of the role he will play, as a focal striker.

Vinicius Jr.

The main man at Real Madrid. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

The Brazilian is in pole position to win the Ballon d’Or this year, and looking back on his season with Real Madrid, it is easy to see why.

Despite losing Karim Benzema, his usual partner in crime over the past few years, Vinicius performed remarkably well in Ancelotti’s new system.

Relentlessly taking on defenders, arriving into space, scoring goals, and stepping up in the biggest of moments, he was one of Real Madrid’s major lynchpins throughout the season as they lifted a historic double.

Vinicius impressively racked up 24 goals last season, and given his importance to the team, the likelihood of him not maintaining a starting role next season is nearly nonexistent.

Jude Bellingham

Real Madrid Fans’ Player of the Season. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Defying all expectations in his debut season, Jude Bellingham established himself as a key player for Real Madrid, demonstrating exceptional versatility, and maturity far beyond his years.

Although the Englishman’s performances wavered in the final stretch of the season, Bellingham’s contributions ensured Los Blancos were able to compete in the Champions League and especially La Liga.

In addition to scoring 23 goals in all competitions, he has constantly been a beacon of reliability in midfield and has proven to be the voice of reason on the pitch.

There have been murmurs about Bellingham potentially being berthed deeper next season as Real Madrid intends to use him as Kroos’ replacement. However, given his versatility, he is expected to be a crucial player wherever he plays.

Antonio Rudiger

A mainstay at the back. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Rudiger is one of the major reasons Real Madrid managed to successfully disguise their injury crisis. Despite players falling like dominos in the back-line, the German stood resolutely as a dependable figure for most of the campaign, arguably enjoying one of his best seasons.

Expertly anticipating opposition strikers’ movements, he leaps forward to thwart attacks before they begin. Moreover, thanks to his large stature and incredible recovery pace, he is able to cover distances behind.

Reports have mentioned that Carlo Ancelotti views him as a crucial component of the squad and potential arrivals, such as those of Leny Yoro and Rafa Marin, in the back-line are unlikely to devalue his presence.

Thibaut Courtois

Back like he was never gone. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

In spite of spending more than half of the campaign on the sidelines recovering from an ACL and MCL injury, Courtois is worth his weight in gold for Real Madrid.

He performed admirably in the final few games of the season and did no wrong against Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League final.

While Andriy Lunin made up for his absence with flying colours, he is placed below Courtois in the pecking order for now, which also has made the Ukrainian lean towards an exit.

The fact that Lunin, after his sublime season, stands no chance of dethroning Courtois between the sticks is a testament to how much the club appreciates the Belgian. Even at the age of 32, the Belgian keeper is anticipated to retain an important role in the team.

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