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 teenage prodigy needs to play more, insists national team manager
The situation with Arda Guler at Real Madrid has become tense in recent days. The Turkish phenom has not been at the receiving end of many minutes despite completing his recovery from injuries, and the player is now getting fed up with his situation.
It is, however, not just Guler who is affected by the situation. With the European Championships coming up, the 19-year-old looks likely to enter the competition with Turkey with no match fitness, and his international federation is far from happy with his situation.
Turkey manager speaks out
Speaking at the recent sponsorship event of the Turkish National Team, head coach Vincenzo Montella was asked to comment on Guler’s situation at Real Madrid.
As a former Sevilla coach and with knowledge of how La Liga works, he understood the circumstances and hoped for the player to see more minutes.
“He is playing very little, but I hope he can do it from now on because he has a lot of talent,” he said, as quoted by SPORT.
Montella went on to reinstate that he still maintains complete confidence in the Real Madrid star’s abilities for the upcoming tournament, despite his drought for minutes.
“We are following him very carefully. We want our players to be in their best physical condition for the European Championship.”
Exit on the cards?
Guler has played only 92 minutes all season and is now vexed by his helplessness. As revealed yesterday, he feels misguided and is unhappy with how the circumstances are currently.
The disappointed star, thus, could seek an exit, potentially on loan, from the club next summer if his situation does not improve.
But with Jude Bellingham and Brahim Diaz both on song, it does not appear like Guler’s chance in Madrid will arrive anytime soon.
Carlo Ancelotti retains faith in the Turkish star, and it remains to be seen if he looks to turn the player’s fortune around in the coming months.