With the new season starting in less than a month left for the new season, Carlo Ancelotti has a big task on his hands. The manager must find a role in the team for both new arrivals and some players who were not a big part of his dynamics last season.
However, the question arises, what could one possibly change in a La Liga and UEFA Champions League winning side to make them better?
According to reports from Mario Cortegana, Ancelotti has begun testing new combinations to make the team more efficient. Yesterday, the team had a training match where the squad were divided into two lineups.
The most striking takeaway from the lineup was Eden Hazard playing as a false 9. The former Chelsea star played slightly behind Rodrygo Goes and Marco Asensio and anchored the play from the spaces behind.
Further, the coach gave Aurelien Tchouameni a start alongside Luka Modric and Toni Kroos to see how the youngster would fare in Casemiro’s place. In further news, David Alaba played as a centre-back while Odriozola started as a left-back. Here are the teams from the training match:
Team 1: Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Rudiger, Odriozola; Ceballos, Casemiro, Camavinga; Valverde, Benzema, Vinicius
Team 2: Lunin; Lucas, Nacho, Alaba, Mendy; Modric, Tchouameni, Kroos; Asensio, Hazard, Rodrygo
At the end of last season, Hazard made a promise to Los Blancos fans that he would do everything in his capacity to return to his best form next season. The Belgian has looked fit and motivated so far and will look for a redemption season ahead.
Meanwhile, Tchouameni is the club’s latest blockbuster signing and is expected to take over the reins in defensive midfield from Casemiro for years to come.
The world will get its first glimpse of Ancelotti’s side this season when they take on Barcelona on Saturday. Needless to say, the Champions of Europe will be out seeking revenge for their humiliation last season, even if it is just a friendly.
Real Madrid youngster in line for significant minutes against Granada – report
Nico Paz was long hyped as Real Madrid Castilla’s brightest upcoming star. The media constantly kept the spotlight on the young Argentine through pre-season as he made a strong impression under Carlo Ancelotti in preseason.
His breakthrough eventually arrived, courtesy of Real Madrid’s injury crisis. He has now made two appearances for the team in La Liga and the UEFA Champions League and even recorded his first goal for the club earlier this week against Napoli.
Taking his chances
As revealed by AS (h/t The Madrid Zone), Paz has impressed management with his cameo against Napoli and will be called up for Real Madrid’s clash against Granada tomorrow.
In fact, there is a good chance he sees significant game time on the night.
After all, Ancelotti is without the likes of Luka Modric, Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga in the middle of the park.
With Toni Kroos, Dani Ceballos, Federico Valverde, and Jude Bellingham filling the starting spots, Paz serves as the manager’s first-choice backup off the bench.
Paz voices his elation
Paz’s introduction against Napoli changed the texture of the game, and it was only poetic that he got the goal that put Real Madrid ahead again on the night.
Speaking to the media after his special night, the Castilla star did not hold back on his emotions.
“This is a dream. For a moment I didn’t even believe it. Very happy to be able to help the team. I dared. I was in automatic mode, I didn’t even know what I was doing. I hit it and well.”
“This is also a message for the other youth players: it is possible to get there. Ancelotti congratulated me, and the whole staff. They are an incredible group and I want to thank them all,” he added, urging his Castilla teammates to keep pushing.