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Bundesliga defender lavishes praise on Real Madrid superstar: “So calm on the ball, so skilful”

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Photo by Rafa Babot/Getty Images

Speaking in an interview with Alvaro de Grado, Bayer Leverkusen defender Jeremie Frimpong has heaped praise on Real Madrid superstar Vinicius Jr.

Vinicius has grown into a talismanic player for Real Madrid over the past couple of seasons. The Brazilian winger was key to the success that Los Blancos achieved last season and he has once again been one of their best players this term.

So far in 2022/23, Vinicius has racked up a highly impressive tally of 19 goals and 11 assists from 41 games across all competitions. With a fair few matches still left to be played this season, he looks set to surpass his goal tally from last campaign (22).

Naturally, Vinicius has gathered a lot of admirers, with Bayer Leverkusen defender Jeremie Frimpong being one among them.

“I love watching Vinicius at Real Madrid: he’s so calm on the ball, so skilful, he never panics. He plays freely, I love it,” Frimpong stated.

“When Vinicius loses the ball, he tries again. In football, when you lose the ball, sometimes you don’t want to try it again. But that never affects Vinicius,” the former Celtic defender added.

Vinicius abilities on the ball have become a main weapon for Real Madrid and something that rivals have come to praise.

Earlier this month, Barcelona defender Ronald Araujo stated that there was no better player in 1v1 situations than Vinicius currently, as he said: “For me today, Vinicius is number one in one-on-one. He is a very good player, very unbalancing.”

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has also been vocal about the quality of his star forward, claiming that the Brazilian will be a part of the club’s history.

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Matches

Camavinga, Tchouameni start in a 4-3-1-2: How Real Madrid could line up against Barcelona

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Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid will be aiming to get a step closer to lifting the La Liga title when they face off against FC Barcelona later tonight at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Real Madrid are currently seated atop the league table, eight points clear of Barça in second place. And another win tonight would stretch the lead to 11 points, all but guaranteeing their coronation as Spanish champions.

It will not be easy with Barcelona motivated after their defeat against PSG in the UEFA Champions League while fatigue could also be a factor after Los Blancos toiled it out for 120 minutes against Man City earlier this week.

Heading into the game, Real Madrid have one fitness concern as Ferland Mendy did not train on Saturday due to some overload in his left leg, although he was included in the squad list by Carlo Ancelotti.

Thibaut Courtois and David Alaba are the only injury-enforced absentees for the league leaders and here’s how Real Madrid could line up tonight against Xavi Hernandez’s side.

Starters

Fresh off his penalty shootout heroics against Manchester City, Andriy Lunin will guard Real Madrid’s goal again and hope to help his team to another crucial victory.

Antonio Rudiger has been in brilliant form this season and is a guaranteed starter at the heart of the Merengues’ defence. The German international should pair up with club captain Nacho Fernandez to stop Robert Lewandowski & co.

Even though there has been some chatter about Lucas Vazquez starting at right-back, Dani Carvajal is expected to get the nod as usual.

Mendy’s possible absence, however, could pave the way for Eduardo Camavinga to start at left-back for Real Madrid, with Ancelotti likely to trust the French midfielder in a makeshift role over Fran Garcia.

Camavinga could fill in at left-back. (Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images)

Aurelien Tchouameni is back after missing the Manchester City game through suspension and will slot in as the defensive midfielder against Barcelona.

Federico Valverde and Toni Kroos will take up the two interior midfield positions for Real Madrid while Jude Bellingham will operate as the lone attacking midfielder.

However, it will not be a surprise to see Real Madrid transition into a 4-4-2 with Valverde and Bellingham moving out wide on the right and left flanks, respectively.

Rodrygo Goes and Vinicius Jr. are the undisputed starters up top in attack, with the former likely to operate from the left after his recent success while the latter will play slightly more centrally.

Real Madrid Predicted Lineup: Lunin, Carvajal, Rudiger, Nacho, Camavinga, Tchouameni, Valverde, Kroos, Bellingham, Vinicius, Rodrygo.

Substitutes

Brahim Diaz and Luka Modric are players that Carlo Ancelotti counts on from the bench for every game and that will not change tonight against Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Joselu is also an option that Ancelotti could turn to if he wished to change things up in the attacking unit.

Eder Militao could also get some minutes, depending on the game situation, as Ancelotti hopes to get the Brazilian into match-rhythm in time to face Bayern Munich.

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