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Kroos replaces Modric in a 4-3-1-2: How Real Madrid could line up against Barcelona in the Super Cup final

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Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Real Madrid will be seeking revenge as they lock horns against Barcelona tomorrow in the Spanish Super Cup final. The Catalans pretty much humiliated them last season in the final of the same competition, winning 1-3.

And while they won 0-4 against Barcelona a few months later, they have a chance to lift their first trophy of the season tomorrow while undoing last season’s display at the same time.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side narrowly escaped injuries to Eduardo Camavinga, Daniel Carvajal, and Federico Valverde in the semi-finals against Atletico Madrid as los blancos came out victors 5-3 in an eight-goal thriller.

With most of the team fit and ready for the game, this is how Madrid Universal predicts the 14-time Champions League winners to lineup for El Clasico tomorrow.

Defence: Mendy continues after goal

Real Madrid fans were not too pleased with Kepa’s performance in the semi-final as he was on the end of a mistake that led to Atletico’s third goal on the night. However, it has been confirmed by reports time and again that the Spaniard will retain his spot in goal.

The backline will also be unchanged, especially after an impressive display where three of the four were on target.

Starting with man of the match Daniel Carvajal, who scored one and assisted two on the night. The Spaniard should retain his place as the right-back despite some doubts over his fitness as he trained alone after the game.

Mammoth performance from Carva. (Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP via Getty Images)

Antonio Rudiger and Nacho will continue as the centre-back pairing, with Eder Militao and David Alaba out with ACL tears. The latter is not expected back this season, but the former could return for the final few games of the season if his recovery goes according to plan.

Eduardo Camavinga was definitely one of the better players for Madrid at left-back, and is in contention to start there, especially facing Lamine Yamal. However, this is the time when Ancelotti will look to award Mendy with some continuity after a goal in the semis.

Midfield: Kroos over Modric

The entire starting lineup will likely see only one change form the semi-final, which will come in the form of Toni Kroos replacing Luka Modric in the centre of the park.

The Croatian had a solid performance against Atleti, but Kroos’ composure and vision will be ideal for Ancelotti against a superb Barcelona midfield that will look to control the game.

Federico Valverde hobbled off in extra-time, but has been given the medical green light for the game. He will start alongside Aurelien Tchouameni at the base of the midfield.

Attack: Jude leads the line

Jude Bellingham’s position has been in contention for a while, but is fair to stay at this point that he has been playing pretty much as a false 9 for Madrid. He will continue in that role tomorrow, hoping to replicate his antics against Barça from the league game.

Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo are expected to form the pairing up top to aid Bellingham, with the former on the left-wing, and the latter on the right.

Vinicius · Rodrygo
Bellingham
Kroos · Tchouameni · Valverde
Mendy · Rudiger · Nacho · Carvajal
Kepa

Substitutes

Brahim Diaz has been in superb form over the last couple of weeks, and will be one of the first players off the bench for Ancelotti. He could replace one of Vini or Rodrygo, or simply come on if they are trailing.

Luka Modric was an effective weapon for Ancelotti in the 1-2 win against Barcelona off the bench, and he will hope the veteran midfielder can mirror his performance from that game tomorrow.

Eduardo Camavinga and Joselu are two players who almost always get game time regardless of the game state. The former could come on to add control in midfield, or increase the tempo as the left-back.

Not to forget Arda Guler, who was incredibly close to signing for Barcelona. A few minutes here and there for him could go a long way.

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Features

Kroos, Courtois start in a 4-3-3: How Real Madrid could lineup against Real Betis

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Photo via Getty Images

Having won the league comfortably after accumulating 94 points in 37 games, Real Madrid’s main objective for the last game of the season, set to go ahead tomorrow, against Real Betis, would be to finish on 97 points.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side are coming off a 4-4 draw against Villarreal last weekend, Madrid will be looking to end the domestic season with a win, which would also serve as a huge confidence boost ahead of their Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund.

Reports have suggested that Ancelotti is alternating his lineup ahead of the UCL final to keep his troops fit and gunning. And after rotations last week against Villarreal, all signs point towards the best XI taking the field vs Betis.

Keeping that in mind, Madrid Universal takes a jab at the 14-time Champions League winners’ final starting lineup of the season for their game against Manuel Pellegrini’s Real Betis.

Defence: Militao or Nacho?

Andriy Lunin returned to guard the posts against Villarreal, which could be a sign that Ancelotti is preparing to use Thibaut Courtois as his goalkeeper against Dortmund. As such, we expect the Belgian to handle the gloves tomorrow.

Daniel Carvajal is expected to replace Lucas Vazquez as the right-back, while Ferland Mendy returns to take over his left-back role.

Antonio Rudiger’s spot does not seem to be in any threat at all, but there are question marks over who will start alongside him, especially on the back of Eder Militao’s disastrous performance vs Villarreal.

Consequently, Nacho might get the nod tomorrow, especially since it could be his last game for Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu.

Midfield: Farewell Toni

While Nacho’s future is still up in the air, Toni Kroos announced his decision to leave Madrid at the end of the season on a free transfer. He will play his final game at home tomorrow, and is expected to get a huge farewell.

Kroos’ last game in Madrid colours. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Federico Valverde will aid him in midfield, playing on the right side of the trident, while Eduardo Camavinga starts as the defensive midfielder to cover for the injured Aurelien Tchouameni.

Attack: No doubts

The attack pretty much picks itself, especially if Ancelotti is truly planning on mirroring the lineup that will likely start the Champions League final as well.

Jude Bellingham will retain his spot as the false 9, playing slightly off left as he has done more so in recent weeks.

Brazilian powerhouse Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo will get the license to start as the two forwards up top, playing in front of Bellingham.

Off the bench

Joselu will almost definitely get some minutes tomorrow, and more than likely in the Champions League final as well, especially owing to his brilliance against Bayern Munich in the semi-finals.

Similarly, Ancelotti could opt to experiment with Luka Modric in midfield in the second half, especially if Tchouameni does not make it back in time to full fitness ahead of the final.

Eder Militao and Arda Guler are also in for some minutes tomorrow, with the latter on the scoresheet four time sin the last three games.

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