Camavinga, Asensio start in a 4-3-3: How Real Madrid could line up against Rayo Vallecano
Real Madrid will be aiming to bounce back to winning ways after consecutive defeats against Manchester City and Valencia, when they take on Rayo Vallecano at the Santiago Bernabeu later tonight.
Having lost the La Liga title to arch-rivals Barcelona, the Merengues are also facing the risk of missing out on the runners-up spot as they are currently third in the table behind neighbours Atletico Madrid.
So, it is imperative that Carlo Ancelotti & co. pull up their socks in the remaining three league games and make sure there are no slip-ups while hoping that the Rojiblancos drop points.
Building up to the game, the headlines have been dominated by the racist attacks against Real Madrid winger Vinicius Jr that took place during the Valencia clash at the Mestalla last weekend.
Los Che have been hit with a partial stadium closure and fine while Vinicius, who had received a red card in the game, has seen it get rescinded due to VAR bias. In spite of that, the 22-year-old is a doubt for the game tonight as he is dealing with a minor knee issue.
Ancelotti has a nearly full squad at his disposal, with Mariano Diaz the only other player unavailable for selection and here we take a look at how the Real Madrid manager could set his team up against Rayo Vallecano.
No changes are expected in goal, with Thibaut Courtois expected to continue between the sticks once again as he looks for a clean sheet after conceding five goals in the last two matches.
Dani Carvajal should return at right-back ahead of Lucas Vazquez who got a rare start against Valencia over the weekend while Ferland Mendy is likely to continue on the left side of the defence yet again.
At the heart of the defence, Eder Militao should hold on to his spot but there will be a change of partners for the Brazilian, with David Alaba coming in to replace Antonio Rudiger in the starting XI.
Moving into the middle of the park, wholesale changes are expected from Real Madrid. Eduardo Camavinga should start as the No. 6 on the night against Rayo Vallecano, replacing his compatriot Aurelien Tchouameni.
Meanwhile, the veteran duo of Toni Kroos and Luka Modric should return to the starting lineup after making appearances from the bench during the weekend clash against Valencia.
Even though Vinicius Jr is no longer suspended, the knee issue could keep him out of the match tonight. In his place, Marco Asensio should start for the Merengues, with the Spaniard slotting in on the right flank.
It should see Rodrygo Goes move out to the left flank against Rayo Vallecano, while Karim Benzema occupies the No. 9 role as always.
Real Madrid Predicted XI: Courtois, Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Mendy, Modric, Camavinga, Kroos, Asensio, Benzema, Rodrygo.
Dani Ceballos is a player who is certain to come on at some stage in the second half to relieve one of Luka Modric or Toni Kroos. Given that Ferland Mendy has only returned from injury, he might be given a breather late on as well, with Nacho taking over from him.
Young Alvaro Rodriguez has been named in the matchday squad for the game and could get a few minutes. There may be some action on the field in store of Eden Hazard as well, especially if Vinicius Jr is not fit enough to play any part.
Five summer transfer operations that Real Madrid are currently working on
With renewed energy, Real Madrid approach the summer transfer window oozing optimism. The air in the Spanish capital is filled with anticipation as Los Blancos prepare to embark on a new chapter — one that promises to bring numerous changes and opportunities.
Following the exits of several high profile names, with the most recent departure of Karim Benzema leaving a gargantuan void in the front-line, Madrid are necessitated to act swiftly in the window. They are reportedly set to prepare for a revolutionary summer.
Currently, Los Blancos maintain emphasis on five operations that hold priority. These are as follows:
The English starboy with the world at his feet continues to be one of football’s hottest commodities. Bellingham has amassed considerable interest from Europe’s top sides, but appears to be closest to striking a deal with Real Madrid.
While the player had no shortage of suitors, his desire to play for the Royal Whites has given Madrid a very realistic chance of obtaining the teenage sensation’s signature.
According to Fabrizio Romano, Real Madrid aspire to complete details of Jude Bellingham’s deal next week. Talks are in the final stages, with add-ons as well as the €100m fixed fee to BVB.
In spite of his high price tag, Bellingham has bedazzled at the tender age of 19, having also won the Bundesliga player of the season. Strengthening the squad with a talent as renowed as him is bound to engender energy in the midfield department next season.
Karim Benzema’s exit has given rise to several top class strikers being linked with Madrid, but Kane’s name stands out most remarkably. The English forward enjoyed a spectacular season with Tottenham Hotspur, despite the club’s collective shortcomings.
Los Blancos face a whopping price tag of €120 million due to the player’s significance for Spurs, but possess an edge in negotiations, owing to the absence of a direct domestic conflict.
According to Jose Felix Diaz, Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is willing to let Harry Kane leave, as long as his next destination is outside of England.
Kane has established himself as one of the world’s most demanded forwards. Interest from Real Madrid particularly makes sense, with how many stylistic similarities he possesses with Benzema.
The forward is adept at dropping deep and linking plays, while also possesses an incredible eye for goal. Kane ended the Premier League season as the second top scorer, scoring 30.
The German international appears to already have one foot in the Spanish capital. Havertz has garnered great interest from Perez, who will be tasked with filling a barren front-line, where Rodrygo and Vinicius are the only two forwards remaining at the club.
The 23 year old was signed by a grand figure of €80 million, but failed to live up to expectations. With a difficult period at the English club, Chelsea would not present much resistance if an adequate offer is presented.
However, Chelsea are reportedly demanding Madrid to put a figure of around €60 million to sign Havertz, which by no means is an amount the Merengues throw around lightly.
Still, Havertz has proven to be a talented youngster when the conditions favour him. At Bayer Leverkusen, he soared to incredible heights. The player is also well acquainted with the German players in Madrid’s squad, which will ease the adaptation process.
While Madrid yearn to reconstruct most of their attack, the club have not abandoned the defensive side of the squad and particularly appear interested in bolstering the left-back position, where Davies has emerged as a potential signing.
As Ferland Mendy faces an almost imminent departure or, at the very least, a demotion in the pecking order, Davies looks to be the chosen one to reinforce the area.
The Bayern Munich left-back is one of the world’s most productive full-backs as he has undeniably proven to be one of the Bavarians’ main assets.
According to Spanish outlet MARCA, Madrid have contacted the German side in hopes of sealing a deal. The reported figure is expected to exceed €60-70 million.
Moreover, Alphonso Davies has dual citizenship, Canadian & Liberian and with the Cotonou agreement, he doesn’t take a NON-EU slot in the squad.
Joselu has been one of the most mentioned links with Madrid ahead of the summer transfer window. As Madrid are willing to especially beef up their attacking depth, the Espanyol man would prove to be a solid buy.
After bidding farewell to Mariano and Asensio, the need for a reliable back-up striker exists in the squad. In such a context, Joselu would aid the depth department.
The Spaniard ended the league season as the third top scorer, securing an impressive 16 goals. Despite Espanyol’s relegation, he looked to be one of the few bright spots in a struggling side.
To successfully reinforce the squad, Real Madrid aim to create a formidable lineup capable of competing at the highest level. They are targeting both established stars and young individuals, believing that a blend of experience and potential will formulate a well-rounded squad.
Following a bucketload of player exits as well as failures in La Liga and Champions League, the club believe a transformative phase is essential to move forward.