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Benzema, Ceballos start in a 4-3-3: How Real Madrid could line up against Almeria



Photo by THOMAS COEX/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid will be aiming to return to winning ways in La Liga when they take on UD Almeria at the Santiago Bernabeu later today.

The reigning champions of Spain kissed goodbye to their hopes of retaining the title after the harrowing 4-2 defeat to Girona earlier this week. Even though leaders Barcelona lost their game against Rayo Vallecano, they still have an 11-point lead with seven games left.

While there still remains a mathematical possibility for Real Madrid, a comeback in the title race seems highly improbable. But it is still necessary for them to generate some winning momentum ahead of important games in other competitions, making the match against Almeria important.

However, manager Carlo Ancelotti will have to make do without his ace midfielder Luka Modric, who is sidelined for at least two weeks with a hamstring injury. Apart from him, David Alaba and Ferland Mendy still remain unavailable as well.

With the game set to kick off at the Santiago Bernabeu in less than 12 hours, let’s take a look at how Real Madrid could line up against Almeria.


Thibaut Courtois is back in the squad after missing the game against Girona due to gastroenteritis. He is certain to replace Andriy Lunin in goal after the Ukrainian had a night to forget in Catalonia in midweek.

Moving into the defensive unit, Eder Militao and Antonio Rudiger are expected to continue as the centre-backs. But Carlo Ancelotti will expect a much better performance from the pair after they fell apart in the midweek game.

Eduardo Camavinga should resume duties at left-back, while Lucas Vazquez could get a run-out at right-back with Dani Carvajal likely to be rested keeping in mind the upcoming matches.

Ceballos to replace Modric. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

Dani Ceballos is back after serving his one-match suspension and will, in all likelihood, replace the injured Luka Modric in the lineup, something that Ancelotti hinted at in his press conference.

Toni Kroos should be rested with an eye on the next matches, opening the way for Aurelien Tchouameni to return to the lineup as the pivot midfielder. Federico Valverde should complete the three-man midfield unit for Real Madrid.

Karim Benzema is back in the squad after recovering from a knock that kept him out against Girona. Given his quest for the Pichichi Trophy, the Real Madrid captain is expected to start today against Almeria.

As for his partners in attack, Vinicius Jr, who scored and assisted a goal in midweek, is pretty much guaranteed to feature, while Marco Asensio might get the nod over Rodrygo Goes on the right flank.

Vinicius · Benzema · Asensio
Ceballos · Tchouameni · Valverde
Camavinga · Rudiger · Militao · Vazquez


Rodrygo, in case he does not start, is bound to come onto the pitch at some point in the second period. Toni Kroos could be sent on by Carlo Ancelotti, especially if things are not going Real Madrid’s way on the evening.

Jesus Vallejo and Mariano Diaz could get some minutes late on depending on the situation of the contest.

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MU Shorts

Real Madrid set their roadmap for next season including coach and transfer plans



Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images

A fresh report from Goal has given a comprehensive update on Real Madrid’s roadmap in the summer transfer window and how they plan to build their squad ahead of the new season.

The club are clear about the continuity of Carlo Ancelotti, but the Italian could have an uphill task organising a team that will witness many defections at the end of the season.

Uncertainty over Lunin, Mendy and Nacho

In the defensive unit, Real Madrid are not entirely sure about the continuity of Andriy Lunin, which has posed questions as to who will serve as the alternative for Thibaut Courtois next season.

Should the Ukrainian international depart, Real Madrid could pursue David Raya as a potential replacement. The club are facing a similar dilemma in the left-back unit, with Ferland Mendy facing an uncertain future at Santiago Bernabeu.

Real Madrid are open to sanctioning the sale of Mendy and appeared to have put faith in the returning Fran Garcia. The club have also decided not to utilise the services of Vinicius Tobias and will rely on youngsters like Alex Jimenez and David Jimenez to explode next season.

Elsewhere in defence, both Nacho and Lucas Vazquez have a decision to make, as far as their future is concerned. If Nacho leaves, Real Madrid are unlikely to go after a centre-back and will expect Rafa Marin to compete with Jesus Vallejo for the fourth centre-back position, with Ancelotti likely to maintain trust in David Alaba, Eder Militao and David Alaba.

Bellingham to beef up midfield, Diaz could replace Asensio

Real Madrid are hoping to have one of the best midfield units in Europe following the expected arrival of Jude Bellingham.

(Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

The Borussia Dortmund starlet will join forces with Luka Modric, and Toni Kroos, along with youngsters such as Federico Valverde, Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni next season, offering Ancelotti an array of top-quality options in the middle of the park.

Dani Ceballos, though, is facing an uncertain future at the club. He appears to be very close to leaving the Bernabeu, but Real Madrid have made a last-gasp effort to keep him at the club.

Marco Asensio, meanwhile, looks set to leave the club in the summer, with the Spaniard reportedly closing in on a move to Paris Saint-Germain. His likely departure has altered Real Madrid’s plans with Brahim Diaz.

Although the former Man City starlet was in talks with AC Milan over a permanent move, there is a possibility he could remain at Bernabeu and serve as the direct replacement for Asensio.

Harry Kane an option in attack

Karim Benzema considering a last-minute move to Saudi Arabia has given a massive headache to Real Madrid’s bosses, as it can not only force them to enter the market for a new forward but also scupper their plans to sign either Erling Haaland or Kylian Mbappe in 2024.

Harry Kane appears to be the front-runner to replace Benzema if he leaves the club. Ancelotti is a fan of the Englishman, who might want to leave Spurs after yet another disappointing campaign.

Elsewhere, Real Madrid are expected to bring in Joselu Mato as a replacement for Mariano Diaz. The Espanyol striker will serve as the alternative to the main centre-forward at the Bernabeu next season.

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