Real Madrid will lock horns with German giants RB Leipzig in their second UEFA Champions League Group F encounter on Wednesday night.
The Merengues began the defence of their European crown with a handsome win over Celtic away in Scotland and will be gunning for another victory against the Bundesliga club.
However, they will have to go into the game without four players as Karim Benzema, Eder Militao and Lucas Vazquez have been ruled out while Alvaro Odriozola is also a major doubt.
With the game closing in, manager Carlo Ancelotti reportedly has his starting XI almost figured out. It had been previously reported that the Italian plans to start with a front-three of Federico Valverde, Rodrygo Goes and Vinicius Junior, with Eden Hazard dropping out.
Now, Diario AS (h/t Madrid Xtra) is reporting that Ancelotti has decided on his preferred midfield unit for the game against Leipzig on Wednesday.
It is claimed that the manager will opt to start with Luka Modric, Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga in the centre of the park, meaning veteran midfielder Toni Kroos will be left out on the bench.
The former Germany international captained the team on Sunday against RCD Mallorca and performed admirably. But, having started each of the last two matches, the Real Madrid superstar now looks set to be rested against Leipzig on Wednesday.
Instead, Tchouameni, who did not play a single minute over the weekend, will return to the side. The Merengues are said to be extremely happy with the French wonderkid and already see him as a vital player in the team.
Modric and Camavinga, who made substitute appearances against Mallorca, will be reinstated to the lineup as well. Valverde, who had started in midfield at the weekend, will be moved into the frontline as iterated earlier.
There could be one change in the defence as well, with Dani Carvajal expected to start at right-back after featuring for only 20 minutes on Sunday.
Real Madrid forward’s contract extension is imminent
If there’s one thing to note about Karim Benzema’s career trajectory, it is that he has only improved over time.
Just last season, the French international enjoyed his finest individual campaign till date, with 44 goals and 15 assists in all competitions.
However, a question mark lingers around the club captain’s future, with his current contract set to expire next summer. A new update has emerged around the Los Blancos legend’s contractual situation, which is set to put a smile on every Madridista’s face.
As per the latest information provided by transfer insider Fabrizio Romano on the ‘Here We Go’ podcast, Karim Benzema’s contract renewal with the European champions is imminent.
Despite turning 35 in December this year, the veteran remains in the conversation for being the best striker in the world, alongside Manchester City’s Erling Haaland and Barcelona’s Robert Lewandowski.
So much so that the five-time Champions League winner is the favourite to win his first-ever Ballon d’Or later this year.
Whilst Benzema has suffered a knee injury this term, he has still managed to register three goals in five league starts.
With all signs pointing to the Los Merengues icon still being at the peak of his powers, it only makes sense why the club are intending on tying him down to a brand-new deal.
Alongside Vinicius Jr., Karim Benzema has managed to form the deadliest forward duo in Europe since the start of the 2021/22 campaign. And considering Real Madrid’s aim to triumph on multiple fronts for the upcoming seasons, it is vital that the experienced goalscorer stays put at the club.
Despite the successful coup of Aurelien Tchouameni, handing Benzema a fresh contract may be the club’s signing of the season.