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Benzema returns; Asensio starts in a 4-3-3: How Real Madrid could line up against Shakhtar



Photo by JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid will look to secure progression to the next round of the UEFA Champions League when they take on Shakhtar Donetsk in a Group F encounter in Warsaw later tonight.

With three wins in three matches, Los Blancos are at the top of the standings and have a foot through the door to the Round of 16. Another win on Tuesday would ascertain their place in the knockout stages, which would allow Carlo Ancelotti room to rest his key players freely amidst a tight schedule.

But with the first El Clasico of the season against Barcelona coming up on Sunday, the Italian tactician might decide to select his team by prioritising the weekend encounter at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Either way, Real Madrid still continue to be without first-choice goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois while Dani Ceballos is also out with an injury. The big news is that Karim Benzema is back in the squad after sitting out against Getafe.

Madrid Universal takes a look at the possible lineup that Ancelotti might send out in Warsaw to face Shakhtar tonight.


Andriy Lunin is a guaranteed starter for Real Madrid as they continue to cope with the absence of Courtois. However, the Ukrainian is likely to see wholesale changes in front of him.

Lucas Vazquez is in line to replace Dani Carvajal at right-back while Ancelotti is likely to hand a rare start to Nacho Fernandez at the heart of the defence, with Eder Militao set to be rested after the knock he picked up at the weekend.

Antonio Rudiger is one player who is expected to hold on to his spot in the defensive line for the Merengues from the match against Getafe. As for the left-back slot, Ancelotti has already confirmed that Ferland Mendy will be starting after being rested at the weekend.

Aurelien Tchouameni has established himself as an undroppable member of the starting XI for Real Madrid and should continue as the deepest of the three midfielders.

However, his compatriot, Eduardo Camavinga could get a run-out from the start again so that Luka Modric is kept fresh ahead of the crucial Clasico. Toni Kroos, meanwhile, will return to the starting XI, as confirmed by Ancelotti.

Benzema, too, is set to feature from the kickoff against Shakhtar and it will be important for Real Madrid that their captain finds some rhythm ahead of the Barcelona clash.

Vinicius Jr, however, could be given a breather by the manager, paving the way for Marco Asensio to start, having made a few bright cameo appearances in recent weeks. Rodrygo should take the right-wing spot, with Federico Valverde likely to be held back with El Clasico in mind.


Both Valverde and Vinicius will likely get some minutes in the latter part of the game or even earlier if things do not go Real Madrid’s way. Luka Modric could come on in the closing stages as well, while Eden Hazard could also stand a chance to play for a few minutes.

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MU Shorts

Alvaro, Tchouameni start in a 4-3-3: How Real Madrid could line up against Sevilla



Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

After returning to winning ways against Rayo Vallecano, Real Madrid will be aiming to build on it and collect three more points when they face Sevilla in the penultimate matchweek of the 2022/23 La Liga campaign tonight.

Thanks to the victory over Rayo coupled with Atletico Madrid’s slip-up against Espanyol, Carlo Ancelotti’s men were able to reclaim the second spot in the table and must now fight to keep hold of it in the remaining two matches of the season.

A trip to Sevilla, though, can be a tricky prospect, especially with the team hit by injuries and going with a depleted attacking unit.

Indeed, Real Madrid will be without Karim Benzema, Marco Asensio, and Vinicius Jr tonight against Los Nervionenses due to injuries. Ancelotti thus has only three natural forwards at his disposal for the game at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.

With that in mind, here is how Ancelotti could set his Real Madrid team up against Jose Luis Mendilibar’s Sevilla side tonight.


Thibaut Courtois is a guaranteed starter in goal for Real Madrid. The Belgian has always stood up for the team in important matches and will need to do so against Sevilla tonight.

Dani Carvajal has been ruled out of the contest due to suspension, which should pave the way for Lucas Vazquez to get the nod at right-back. Eder Militao should return at centre-back after not starting against Rayo, with the Brazilian partnering Antonio Rudiger

Ferland Mendy will likely get the nod at left-back as he fights for his future at Real Madrid in the final few games of the campaign.

Looking to make an impression. (Photo by ANDER GILLENEA/AFP via Getty Images)

Having fallen behind Eduardo Camavinga and Toni Kroos in the pecking order, Aurelien Tchouameni will have a point to prove as he looks likely to start for Real Madrid in the holding midfield role tonight.

Both Kroos and Luka Modric started in midweek against Rayo and could thus be given a breather tonight, with Dani Ceballos and Camavinga occupying the remaining two midfield slots for the Merengues.

Moving into the attacking unit, manager Carlo Ancelotti is running short on options. As such, Federico Valverde should start out on the right flank against Sevilla.

Meanwhile, even though Eden Hazard is an option, Rodrygo Goes, who scored the winner against Rayo Vallecano, should get the nod on the left wing in the absence of his compatriot Vinicius Jr.

It should pave the way for youngster Alvaro Rodriguez to start in the No. 9 role for Real Madrid against Sevilla, with Karim Benzema unavailable.

Real Madrid Predicted XI: Courtois, Vazquez, Militao, Rudiger, Mendy, Ceballos, Tchouameni, Camavinga, Valverde, Alvaro Rodriguez, Rodrygo.


Given the lack of options, Eden Hazard is certain to make an appearance at some point in the game against Sevilla. The likes of Luka Modric and Toni Kroos may also be called upon if things are not going Real Madrid’s way on the night.

Depending on the game situation, Carlo Ancelotti could turn to Nacho or David Alaba if he is looking to shut up shop.

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