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Five changes Ancelotti could make to the starting lineup for Real Madrid vs Barcelona

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Photo via Getty Images

Real Madrid host Barcelona on Sunday night in the first official Clasico of the season. After losing 4-0 at home last time around and coming second best in the preseason Clasico, the hosts will be out for blood today.

Ancelotti will look to put up his strongest lineup on the night, and there will undoubtedly be changes galore, starting with:

1. Luka Modric for Eden Hazard

Carlo Ancelotti deployed a heavily rotated lineup against Shakhtar Donetsk and used the opportunity to test his bench strength. Eden Hazard was part of the starting XI and played as an attacking midfielder on the night, poaching on the space behind Karim Benzema.

Yet, the Belgian was easily the least influential player on the field in the 1-1 draw, as he managed just 35 touches in his hour on the field. Luka Modric will certainly start against Barcelona come Sunday night, and will almost definitely replace Hazard as the third midfielder.

2. Eder Militao for Nacho

Nacho has been a valuable asset on the bench for the manager and once again proved his worth with a reliable and solid defensive show in the last game.

However, the biggest games call for the biggest difference-makers. Eder Militao has established himself as an irreplaceable part of Los Blancos’ defensive unit and will hope to cover for Courtois’ absence on the night.

3. David Alaba for Ferland Mendy

David Alaba’s seamless adaptation to Real Madrid’s dynamics meant that the team did not even feel the loss of Sergio Ramos last season. He scored a phenomenal goal on his Clasico debut and will look to do the same as his team seek revenge on Sunday.

However, with Antonio Rudiger available to start, the Austrian could well play at left back in place of Ferland Mendy, hoping to keep one of Raphinha or Ousmane Dembele in check.

4. Daniel Carvajal for Lucas Vazquez

Experience is invaluable, more so on a Clasico night. Lucas Vazquez has barely put a foot wrong in his Real Madrid career as a right-back, but his compatriot’s experience at the highest level could well see him gifted the starting position against Barcelona.

5. Vinicius Jr for Rodrygo

Carlo Ancelotti suggested that both Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo Goes could start against Xavi’s men. Yet, it seems inevitable that Federico Valverde is given the start on the right wing, meaning one of the Brazilian would start on the bench.

In such a situation, it would be Vinicius who gets the crucial start in place of Rodrygo. Nevertheless, the latter can be assured of minutes off the bench.

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Real Madrid News

Ancelotti devises plan to prepare Real Madrid defensive ace for Bayern Munich clash

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Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Eder Militao has charted a remarkable recovery to return from an ACL injury he suffered on the first day of the 2023/24 season.

The Brazilian international came back to action in late March, featuring for a couple of minutes against Athletic Club – the very team against whom he had sustained the injury.

Following that, the centre-back has also featured sparingly in games against Mallorca and Manchester City, although he is yet to start a game.

Ancelotti has plan for Militao

Now, AS reports that Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has devised a plan for Militao to be ready to go when the team face Bayern Munich later this month in the UEFA Champions League semifinal first leg.

Militao is expected to play an important role in the Champions League semi-finals. The coaching staff is counting on him to reinforce the team’s defensive capabilities.

The first phase of his reintegration into the dynamics of the competition, which was more psychological than physical, has already been completed.

Ancelotti has a plan for Militao. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Ancelotti, who has now drawn up a special plan to give him minutes in order to get him ready (physically) for the semi-finals.

First Militao will be used in the Clásico today, depending on how the game goes. Then against Real Sociedad next week, on this occasion, the Brazilian could even likely be a starter.

At centre-back or right-back

Militao will have options to play against Bayern Munich in the centre of defence, alongside Antonio Rudiger, but also at right-back, as Dani Carvajal will miss the game because he picked up his third yellow card of the season at the Etihad.

It will all depend on how the Brazilian performs in the two remaining games against Barça and Real Sociedad before the UCL semi-final first leg on 30 April.

For the second leg, on 8 May, at the Bernabeu, Militao will compete on equal terms with the rest of the back four. There will be one more game between the two contests, against Cadiz, for him to get minutes. That’s what Ancelotti is counting on with the Brazilian.

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