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Joselu, Modric start in a 4-3-1-2: How Real Madrid could lineup against Braga

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Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid returned from international break over the weekend with the clash against Sevilla awaiting them in La Liga. Far from 100% both in terms of match sharpness and injuries, Carlo Ancelotti’s side had to return home with nothing more than a 1-1 draw.

They will be hoping to return to winning ways as they lock horns against Braga in their favourite competition, the UEFA Champions League. After two wins in the first two games, Madrid will travel to Portugal in midweek before taking on Barcelona on the weekend.

Ancelotti has already confirmed that he will not use the same starting lineup that came away with a point on the weekend, especially because some players are particularly fatigued after international duty.

“Rotations ahead of El Clásico? No but I won’t use the same XI we used vs Sevilla. I have to evaluate the players who are tired after the break, some took knocks against Sevilla… so we will see,” he said.

With one eye on El Clasico, this is how Madrid Universal believes Real Madrid will lineup against Braga tomorrow.

Defence: Nacho in for Alaba

Kepa Arrizabalaga expressed his desire to continue at the Santiago Bernabeu beyond this season, but will understandably face a tough time competing with Thibaut Courtois as the first-choice. He will, however, have his place cemented in goal tomorrow.

David Alaba has just returned from injury, but was on the score sheet already vs Sevilla – finishing in his own net, unfortunately. He did have a solid performance, though, but could be rested in favour of Nacho to keep him fit for El Clasico.

Antonio Rudiger should retain his position in central defence alongside the captain, with Fran Garcia expected to replace Ferland Mendy as the left-back. Daniel Carvajal will likely continue as the right-back.

Midfield: Modric, Camavinga return

We expect changes in midfield, as well, especially since Toni Kroos played the entire 90 minutes against Sevilla. The German’s ability to control the game will be priceless vs Barcelona, and as such, he could be rested from the get-go tomorrow.

In his place, UCL maestro Luka Modric is expected to return to midfield duty, likely paired up with Eduardo Camavinga, who will play on the left side of the trident.

Aurelien Tchouameni was far from his best on the weekend, but Federico Valverde needs some rest after a hectic international break for Uruguay, playing 90 minutes each against Colombia and Brazil. As such, the Frenchman should continue as the defensive midfielder.

Valverde had a hectic int. break. (Photo by PABLO PORCIUNCULA/AFP via Getty Images)

Jude Bellingham will predictably be the final piece of the puzzle in this midfield, starting as the no.10-cum-false 9 role he has made his own this season with ten goals and three assists across La Liga and the UCL.

Attack: Vinicius rests

The attack is where things get tricky for Ancelotti. Both his star forwards, Rodrygo and Vinicius Jr have encountered a bit of a stale run in front of goal.

Further, both played extensively for Brazil during the international break and could use some rest before the crucial part of the season begins.

However, MU predict Vinicius will be rested tomorrow over Rodrygo as the former has recently returned from injury. Further, facing a relatively weaker opposition could be the key to break the latter’s rut.

The final piece of the puzzle should be Joselu, who is averaging a goal every 107 minutes in the league, having netted five times already. He has also provided two assists and will be looking to open his account in the UCL tomorrow.

Rodrygo · Joselu
Bellingham
Camavinga · Tchouameni · Modric
Garcia · Nacho · Rudiger · Carvajal
Kepa

Substitutes

With this many rotations, some of the first-team players are likely to come on at some point during the game. This list would start with Vinicius Jr, who will probably be the first name off the bench.

Federico Valverde is an invaluable asset for Carlo Ancelotti as one of the most complete box-to-box midfielders in Europe. The Uruguayan will also definitely see some minutes, if he is in fact benched in the first place.

Toni Kroos and Brahim Diaz will also be competing for a spot, with the latter looking to make an impression at Real Madrid while the squad is running thin.

Daniel Carvajal could also use some rest, and if he starts again, he could be pave the way at some point in the game for Lucas Vazquez.

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Features

Euro 2024: Rating every Real Madrid player’s performance at the tournament

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Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images

The UEFA Euro 2024 came to an end last night with Spain being crowned the champions of Europe thanks to a 2-1 victory over England in Berlin.

Considering how well La Roja played throughout the tournament and their performance in the finals on Sunday night, they were the deserved winners of the trophy.

With Spain lifting the trophy, Real Madrid veteran defender Dani Carvajal added another title to his already successful campaign finishing 2023/24 as a La Liga, Champions League, and EURO winner.

Nacho and Joselu, who were still contracted with Real Madrid when the Euro started, joined Carvajal on that list while Jude Bellingham finished on the losing side.

Real Madrid had a total of 13 players representing them at the Euros in Germany and not all managed to make a solid impression. Here are how the Merengues’ stars fared at the European Championships.

Spain

Dani Carvajal: 8/10

The Spanish right-back was one of the stars of the show at the Euros, playing an integral role in La Roja’s success. Carvajal kicked off his first Euro with a goal in the opening game against Croatia and continued to be a reliable player for Spain both in defence and attack.

Carvajal forged a strong partnership with Barcelona’s Lamine Yamal on the right flank and even played a key role in the team’s opening goal against England in the final.

Nacho: 6/10

Technically no longer a Real Madrid player, Nacho was still contracted with the club when the Euros kicked off. Starting in the opener against Croatia, he helped Spain to a clean sheet against Croatia.

The veteran defender also put in solid shifts in the quarter-final and semi-final ties against Germany and France, respectively and helped see out the game against England last night.

Joselu: N/A

Behind the likes of Alvaro Morata and Mikel Oyarzabal in the pecking order, Joselu, who left Real Madrid at the end of June, played just 90 minutes across two games.

England

Jude Bellingham: 6.5/10

Failed to deliver. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Having enjoyed a dream season with Real Madrid, Jude Bellingham was unable to replicate those performances for England.

While he did score two crucial goals, including a stunning bicycle kick to keep his team alive against Slovakia, and assisted Cole Palmer’s strike in the finals, his overall display left a lot to be desired.

France

Kylian Mbappe: 6/10

Real Madrid’s newest acquisition, all eyes were on Mbappe heading into the Euros. And even though France made it as far as the semi-finals, the 25-year-old failed to live up to the expectations with a nose injury impacting his displays.

Mbappe finished the tournament with a solitary goal and two assists, but as he admitted after the defeat to Spain, his Euro will go down as a failure.

Aurelien Tchouameni: 6/10

Making a return from injury during the tournament, the Real Madrid midfielder was a solid presence in the centre of the park for France alongside N’Golo Kante without really standing out a great deal.

The 24-year-old provided strength and stability in midfield for Les Bleus and even tried to get upfield in matches. But his shooting from distance was way off the mark.

Not up to the mark. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Eduardo Camavinga: 5/10

Starting just one of France’s six games and featuring as a substitute in three more, Eduardo Camavinga was not a major presence for Didier Deschamps’ side at the Euros which came as a surprise.

The Real Madrid starlet did show glimpses of quality when he did get a chance but not enough for him to make an impact.

Ferland Mendy: N/A

Having made a return to the France setup for the first time since 2022, Mendy did not play a single minute at the Euros, with former Real Madrid left-back, Theo Hernandez being preferred by the manager.

Germany

Antonio Rudiger: 7/10

Carrying on from where he left off for Real Madrid, Rudiger was a solid presence at the heart of the German defence at the Euros in his homeland.

Came up against some tricky forwards throughout the hosts’ quarterfinal run but did well to hold his own, but was guilty of losing Mikel Merino for Spain’s goal that eliminated Germany.

Toni Kroos: 6.5/10

It was not a fairytale ending for Kroos, who waved goodbye to his international career with a forgettable display against Spain during which he could have been easily sent off for the array of fouls he committed.

Prior to that, however, Kroos was instrumental for Germany in their run until the quarterfinals, stringing play together from the centre of the park.

Turkey

Arda Guler: 7/10

Arda Guler made a good impression at the Euros. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

One of the breakout stars of the Euros, Arda Guler showcased his talent and potential, helping Turkey to the quarterfinals of the tournament.

The 19-year-old started off with a wonder-goal against Georgia and also added two assists to his tally in his first major tournament, following in the footsteps of greats like Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney. A bright future awaits.

Croatia

Luka Modric: 6/10

Unlike recent years, Luka Modric’s Croatia were unable to get past the group stages, with the veteran midfielder finishing the tournament with a goal from under 240 minutes.

Ukraine

Andriy Lunin: 2/10

Started the tournament as Ukraine’s No. 1 against Romania but made costly errors that saw him lose his place in the starting XI. Did not feature again after the opener as his team crashed out of the group stages.

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