Mendy set to return, Rudiger on the bench: 4-3-3 predicted Real Madrid against Real Betis
With the summer transfer window done and dusted, Real Madrid will shift their focus back to the season at hand.
The reigning European champions are currently leading La Liga table with three wins on the trot. But they are set to face a stern test on Saturday when they resume their campaign with a home game against Real Betis.
Despite the three wins, Los Blancos cannot afford to drop points in this crucial encounter, especially with their weekend opponent breathing down their necks.
And here, at Madrid Universal, we will take a look at the potential Real Madrid lineup to be fielded against Los Beticos, in what will be the first home game for the defending champions.
Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti will keep one eye on the important Champions League opener against Celtic in the middle of next week. As such, we are forecasting at least one change in the defensive unit, from the team that started against Espanyol.
New signing Antonio Rudiger looks likely to drop out of the team, in order to make way for Ferland Mendy. The Frenchman should occupy his role at left-back, with Dani Carvajal starting on the opposite end.
Rudiger’s absence in the defensive unit could see David Alaba shift into the central role. The Austrian international’s experience could be critical in stifling the progress of the Real Betis attackers in the final third.
Alaba should be accompanied by Eder Militao, with the two centre-backs likely to play a key role in covering Thibaut Courtois in goal. Interestingly, the Belgian international is still without a clean sheet so far in La Liga.
The late departure of Casemiro has left a massive void in Real Madrid’s midfield unit. But they have enough numbers to replace the Brazilian international.
Aurelien Tchouameni is primed to operate in the number six role. The young Frenchman’s ability to control the tempo of the game could go a long way in helping Real Madrid have the upper hand in the middle of the park.
Tchouameni should be aided by two highly experienced midfield generals in the form of Toni Kroos and Luka Modric.
Moving into the final third, Real Madrid are once again banking on the services of Karim Benzema. The Frenchman has racked up three goals in three matches so far and is hoping to continue on his merry ways of finding the back of the net against Real Betis.
Vinicius Junior, too, has picked up where he had left off last season, by mustering a couple of goals and an assist. There is no reason why he should not continue out on the flanks, as Real Madrid look to continue their dominance in the final third.
While Vinicius should operate on the left side, the right flank could be occupied by Federico Valverde. The Uruguayan international should continue to get the nod ahead of other options such as Rodrygo, though it will not come as a surprise to see the later start as well.
With the Champions League encounter against Celtic just around the corner, Ancelotti could bank on rotations around the hour mark to keep his troops fresh.
Rodrygo appears to be most likely to appear as a substitute later on in the game. Eden Hazard is another option should Ancelotti opt for more dynamism and creativity in the final third.
In midfield, Eduardo Camavinga should serve as a replacement for Modric, while the likes of Lucas Vazquez and Antonio Rudiger remain as potential alternatives in the defensive unit.
Three talking points ahead of Sevilla vs Real Madrid
Real Madrid’s 2-1 win over Real Valladolid was far from convincing. They may have been the more effective side, but the Merengues were far from being the better team against Andoni Iraola’s men.
Saturday brings with it the team’s penultimate game of the campaign as Real Madrid take on Sevilla. The Andalusian side have not been impressive in La Liga this season but have always been one to turn up against the big teams. Tomorrow’s game is expected to be no different.
Carlo Ancelotti is expected to make drastic changes ahead of kickoff, especially given the incomplete squad travelling for the game. Madrid Universal brings you three talking points ahead of Sevilla vs Real Madrid.
1. Final game on the road
The 2022-23 season has flown by in the blink of an eye. It may have been a rocky campaign and could have ended with better results, but there is a feeling that the squad has a lot to take away from the season as it is.
From the highs of completing a special Copa del Rey comeback win over Barcelona to the lows of losing three successive Clasicos, the men in white have seen it all. As the season now approaches the curtain-closing phase, Carlo Ancelotti and his men will be eager for a strong finish.
Sunday night will see the Merengues‘ final away game of the season as they travel to Ramon Sanchez Pijzuan to take on Sevilla. The 2021-22 champions have not had the best of seasons on the road in La Liga this season and a statement finish would go a long way in boosting the morale.
Sevilla have been far from their best this campaign domestically. Though they are well placed to taste glory in the UEFA Europa League once again, they languish in tenth place on the league standings with just 13 wins in 36 games.
Los Blancos boast a fine record at Ramon Sanchez Pijzuan and are unbeaten at the stadium in their last eight appearances. Their last defeat at the venue came back in 2018, and the objective tonight will be to extend the aforementioned streak.
2. Tchouameni’s point to prove
As much as Aurelien Tchouameni’s initial months at the club were called paradise, the Frenchman has not had life easy at Real Madrid in his first season.
The Frenchman initially stepped in as a more than able replacement for Casemiro in the middle of the park. His astute reading of the game and defensive awareness made him a monster in midfield and his position in the starting lineup appeared safe.
Tchouameni’s situation, however, took a steep turn after the FIFA World Cup. Coming back from a fatiguing World Cup and a minor niggle, the defensive midfielder no longer found his name on the starting lineup as he became second fiddle to Eduardo Camavinga.
The entry of Toni Kroos as an option for the pivot role further reduced the Frenchman’s involvement.
The youngster thus has a point to prove on Sunday night. He is expected to start at the Ramon Sanchez Pijzuan and will look to orchestrate the team’s play from deep in midfield whilst holding the fortress simultaneously. After all, it could be his final chance to prove his worth ahead of the new season.
3. Only three forwards
Real Madrid’s squad list only names three forwards making the trip to Seville to take on Jose Luis Mendilibar’s side – Rodrygo Goes, Eden Hazard, and Alvaro Rodriguez.
The manager does have a fourth option in Federico Valverde and could look to mix and match his options on the night. However, Carlo Ancelotti maintained a low profile on the starting lineup ahead of Sunday’s clash, especially when asked about Eden Hazard’s chances of participating.
Given that it is the team’s penultimate game of the season, Ancelotti could well look to start all three pure forwards on the night. After all, each has their own special reason to participate.
For Hazard, the game against Sevilla could well be his final away game in a Real Madrid shirt. The Belgian is reluctant to leave the club at the moment, but everything could change in June if he begins to attract interest.
In Alvaro Rodriguez’s case, tomorrow’s game presents itself as an audition to seal a place in next season’s dynamics. The youngster has impressed whenever given the chance so far and will look to keep his high level going.
Rodrygo Goes, arguably, needs the game the least of the three candidates. Yet, with Ancelotti publicly asking him to take more prominence, he has a point to prove.