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Camavinga, Modric start in a 4-4-2: How Real Madrid could line up against Atletico Madrid

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Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images

The big games keep coming one after the other for Real Madrid as they get set to take on neighbours Atletico Madrid for the second time in a little over a week.

Having beaten Diego Simeone’s men 5-3 (after extra time) in the semi-finals of the Spanish Super Cup, Los Blancos now take on the Colchoneros in the Round of 16 of the Copa del Rey, away at the Civitas Metropolitano.

Real Madrid are currently the holders of the Copa del Rey, having won it last season by beating Osasuna in the finals. And, Carlo Ancelotti & co. will be eager to go all the way in the tournament once again and add another trophy to their cabinet.

Heading into the contest, Real Madrid are without Thibaut Courtois, Eder Militao, David Alaba, and Lucas Vazquez due to injuries. There are no other notable absentees for the Merengues.

Ancelotti is expected to field his strongest possible lineup, but with a few tweaks to the team that started in Super Cup final vs Barcelona. Ahead of tonight’s derby at the Metropolitano, here’s how Real Madrid could take the field.

Starters

The goalkeeping situation at Real Madrid has been a bit unclear this term with Kepa Arrizabalaga and Andriy Lunin being constantly rotated by Carlo Ancelotti. However, the manager has already confirmed that Kepa will be the man in goal tonight vs Atletico Madrid.

Meanwhile, the defensive lineup is unlikely to see any changes given the lack of options especially in the centre-back position.

As such, Antonio Rudiger and captain Nacho Fernandez ought to operate as the two central defenders flanked by Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy on the right and left sides, respectively.

Another start for Ferland Mendy. (Photo by Florencia Tan Jun/Getty Images)

The midfield is where notable changes are expected with Ancelotti eager to keep things fresh. As such, Eduardo Camavinga is likely to slot in as the defensive midfielder ahead of his compatriot Aurelien Tchouameni.

Meanwhile, Luka Modric is in line to replace fellow veteran Toni Kroos in the lineup for tonight. But, both Federico Valverde and Jude Bellingham are expected to retain their places, with the latter being at the tip of the four-man midfield diamond.

There is no way Vinicius Jr. will be dropped after his scintillating hat-trick that blew Barcelona away in the Super Cup final last Sunday. The 23-year-old is expected to be paired up with his compatriot Rodrygo Goes, who has been in fine form recently as well.

Substitutes

Brahim Diaz is guaranteed to see some minutes in the second half given the form he has been showcasing since November. Toni Kroos is another player who is certain to get into the thick of things at some time after the break.

There may well be minutes for Aurelien Tchouameni too, as he could come on to provide some reprieve to one of the central defenders or Eduardo Camavinga in midfield. Joselu has been a vital player off the bench for the Merengues and could see some action as well.

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MU Shorts

Tchouameni, Bellingham start in a 4-4-2: How Real Madrid could line up against Bayern Munich

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Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid will face their biggest fixture of the season later tonight when they lock horns with Bayern Munich in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League semi-finals.

Having already won the Spanish Super Cup and La Liga, Los Blancos will be eager to take a step closer to lifting the Champions League crown as well.

The first leg, played in Germany, ended in a 2-2 draw leaving the tie nicely balanced as Real Madrid and Bayern Munich battle it out for a spot in the finals, where Borussia Dortmund await.

Heading into tonight’s clash, Real Madrid have only one injury-enforced absentee in the form of David Alaba.

Having made plenty of rotations to the team for the weekend La Liga clash against Cadiz, Carlo Ancelotti will name his strongest possible lineup at the Santiago Bernabeu tonight. And here’s how Real Madrid could take the field against Thomas Tuchel’s men.

Starters

Even though Thibaut Courtois is fully fit and made his first appearance of the season this past Saturday, Andriy Lunin has more than earned his spot in the lineup and will start in goal, as confirmed by Carlo Ancelotti yesterday.

Dani Carvajal is back in the squad after missing the first leg through suspension and is certain to replace Lucas Vazquez at right-back tonight against Bayern Munich. Meanwhile, Ferland Mendy will occupy the left side of the defence.

Antonio Rudiger is a certainty to feature at the heart of the defence but Ancelotti has a dilemma as far as the German’s partner is concerned.

But with Eder Militao still not back to his best and Nacho Fernandez not looking all too secure in the first leg, Aurelien Tchouameni could be asked to fill in at centre-back by Ancelotti.

Tchouameni could start at centre-back. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

In that scenario, Eduardo Camavinga becomes an automatic starter at the base of the Real Madrid midfield, where he will partner Toni Kroos, who was one of the Merengues’ best players from the first leg.

In somewhat of a tweaked setup, Ancelotti’s permanent fixture, Federico Valverde will line up on the right side of the midfield four, while Rodrygo Goes is likely to occupy the left flank – a position from where he has been quite effective in recent times.

It would mean that Vinicius Jr. would play in a more central role on the night against Bayern Munich, with fellow key man Jude Bellingham providing the Brazilian superstar support in the attacking line.

Substitutes

Luka Modric is a certainty to come on at some point in the second period for Real Madrid if he does not start against Bayern Munich. The Croatian has showcased good form in recent games and can impact the proceedings.

Brahim Diaz is also someone that Carlo Ancelotti counts on regularly from the bench and that is unlikely to change. Nacho Fernandez could be an option if Real Madrid wish to shut up shop at the back.

On the other hand, Joselu could be an alternative in attack to provide a different kind of threat in and around the Bayern Munich box.

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