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Carlo Ancelotti set to deploy ‘Real Madrid B team’ against Atletico Madrid

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Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Despite supposedly being a team in ‘transition’, Real Madrid have dominated world football on all fronts this season.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side sealed the league title last week with their win over Espanyol with over four games in hand. Meanwhile, the team pulled over an unimaginable comeback against Manchester City to advance to the finals of the prestigious competition.

With the league done and dusted, the manager prioritises the European competition now.

The final against Liverpool is scheduled for later this month, and hence, it is the ideal time for Ancelotti to bench his starters, despite the next game being the Madrid derby against Atletico Madrid.

According to reports from Diario AS, the coach has decided to field his ‘B team’ against Atletico. The clash would see several key players rested and fringe players given a start.

Lucas Vazquez, Marcelo, and Jesus Vallejo are reportedly set to start in the backline on the night, with Daniel Carvajal, Ferland Mendy, and Eder Militao given a rest.

Meanwhile, it is expected that the veteran trio of Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, and Casemiro start on the bench too. In their place, the likes of Federico Valverde, Dani Ceballos and Eduardo Camavinga could be given a chance.

While the combination in the front three is difficult to predict, Marco Asensio is ready to feature at Wanda Metropolitano. Combeack hero Rodrygo, too, could make the appearance form the get-go.

The Madrid derby has already got into a fair share of controversy after Atletico denied to give their rivals a guard of honour for their 35th league title. While Los Blancos will field a weaker team, it will be interesting to see how the backup players perform under pressure.

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Real Madrid News

Ancelotti considering playing a makeshift centre-back pairing for Real Madrid against Valencia – report

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Photo by DESIREE MARTIN/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid will take on Valencia on Saturday, looking to maintain their solid lead at the top of the league table.

The Spanish giants are leading the standing with a six-point lead over Girona. A win against Valencia could help them solidify their position at the top while potentially opening up an opportunity to extend the lead to more than six points.

Heading into this game, though, Carlo Ancelotti is facing multiple setbacks, especially in the defensive unit, with Eder Militao, David Alaba and Thibaut Courtois still missing due to injuries.

This will once again put pressure on Ancelotti, as far as the team selection is concerned.

Rudiger & Tchouameni to partner at centre-back vs Valencia

Fortunately for the Real Madrid coach, much of his experimentations this season have worked, including Aurelien Tchouameni’s supreme performances at centre-back.

With that in mind, Diario AS reports Ancelotti is considering playing a makeshift central defensive pair against Valencia, comprising Antonio Rudiger and Tchouameni.

Ancelotti to go with a makeshift central defensive pairing vs Valencia (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

This is not the first time the young Frenchman will have to accompany Rudiger at centre-back. He did so earlier in the year when Real Madrid took on RCD Mallorca.

Interestingly, Real Madrid were able to retain a clean sheet, with Rudiger scoring the winning goal, in a narrow 1-0 victory.

What are Ancelotti’s other options?

Ancelotti will be hoping for a similar outcome this time around. However, it must be noted that the Italian will be boosted by the return of Dani Carvajal from suspension.

The veteran Spaniard can be an option at centre-back. But given the way how Tchouameni has impressed onlookers with his performances at centre-back, there is very little reason why he shouldn’t continue in the position.

Tchouameni has even been compared to Javier Mascherano by former Spanish coach Roberto Moreno.

Other than Carvajal, though, Nacho Fernandez is another option for Ancelotti. But the veteran defender is suffering with discomfort and Ancelotti has no plans to risk it.

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