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Modric, Camavinga start in a 4-3-3: How Real Madrid could line up against Barcelona



Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid will look to take a step towards qualifying for the finals of the Copa del Rey when they host FC Barcelona in the first leg of the semi-finals at the Santiago Bernabeu later tonight.

Los Blancos have already played two El Clasicos this season, winning and losing one each and will be eager to get one over their bitter rivals which would put them in a strong position ahead of the second leg at Camp Nou next month.

Carlo Ancelotti’s men, however, head into the game on the back of a 1-1 draw against Atletico Madrid and will need to put on a much better display than they did in the derby.

A lot will depend on how the Italian tactician goes about his team selection and here at Madrid Universal, we take a look at the potential lineup that the Merengues boss could field against Barça tonight.


Thibaut Courtois is the undisputed starter in goal for Real Madrid and will look to keep Barcelona out at the Santiago Bernabeu.

With Ferland Mendy and David Alaba both ruled out with injuries, veteran defender Nacho Fernandez should get the nod as the left-back. On the opposite flank, there is no looking past Dani Carvajal while Eder Militao and Antonio Rudiger should pair up at the heart of the backline.

The midfield department is where things get tricky for Ancelotti with regard to his selection as he has several options, of which he can choose only three.

Luka Modric did not start against Atletico Madrid and will be suspended for the next league game versus Real Betis. So, he is all but certain to feature from the get-go against Barcelona tonight.

Meanwhile, Eduardo Camavinga has been in top form of late, and having been granted some rest in the derby, the Frenchman should return to the lineup tonight against Xavi Hernandez’s side.

Kroos over Tchouameni? (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

It leaves the likes of Toni Kroos, Dani Ceballos, and Aurelien Tchouameni jostling for the final position in midfield. But, owing to his experience, it could be Kroos who gets the nod, which would mean Camavinga will likely line up in the No. 6 role.

Things are pretty straightforward for Ancelotti and Real Madrid when it comes to the attacking unit. Karim Benzema is a surefire starter in the No. 9 role while the same can be said of Vinicius Jr on the left flank, where he could be in for an interesting duel against Ronald Araujo.

With Rodrygo Goes returning from an injury only on Wednesday, Federico Valverde becomes the obvious pick for the right-wing for Real Madrid against Barcelona.

Real Madrid Predicted XI: Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Rudiger, Nacho; Modric, Camavinga, Kroos; Valverde, Benzema, Vinicius


Rodrygo and Marco Asensio have made decent impacts coming on as substitutes and are pretty much certain to step onto the pitch at some point in the second period.

Dani Ceballos could come in for either Modric or Kroos in order to add some energy and legs in the middle of the park.

Alvaro Rodriguez is the talk of the town after scoring his first goal for Real Madrid in the derby against Atletico. He could get a taste of his first-ever El Clasico tonight at the Bernabeu.

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MU Shorts

Benzema, Camavinga start in a 4-3-3: How Real Madrid could line up against Liverpool



Photo by THOMAS COEX/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid will look to secure their place in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League when they take on Premier League bigwigs Liverpool in the second leg of their Round of 16 encounter tonight.

The Merengues are already in a solid position thanks to their 5-2 comeback victory in the first leg at Anfield, led by brilliant performances from Vinicius Jr and Karim Benzema.

But the job is far from done as the Reds are perfectly capable of mounting a strong comeback, having done so in the past against Barcelona only a few years ago. The recent 7-0 thrashing of Manchester United also showed the capabilities of Jurgen Klopp’s men.

So, Carlo Ancelotti & co. will need to be professional and get the job done while guarding against any sort of complacency. The manager has a near-full squad at his disposal, with David Alaba the only player missing with an injury.

With the game set to kick off at the Santiago Bernabeu later tonight, Madrid Universal takes a look at how Los Blancos could line up against Liverpool.


Thibaut Courtois is a certain starter in goal for Real Madrid and will look to keep a clean sheet this time out after letting in two goals at Anfield in the reverse fixture.

The Belgian international will likely be shielded by the centre-back pairing of Eder Militao, who was in fine nick against Espanyol over the weekend, and Antonio Rudiger.

Dani Carvajal is a guaranteed starter at right-back, while Nacho Fernandez is set to get the nod on the left side after his solid performance after coming on as a substitute at Anfield. Ferland Mendy is back in the squad, but is unlikely to be thrust into the spotlight right away.

Moving into the middle of the park, Carlo Ancelotti has always banked on the experience of Luka Modric and Toni Kroos for the big games, and that will not change tonight against Liverpool at the Bernabeu.

Ancelotti’s trusted lieutenants. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

The defensive midfield slot is up for grabs with neither Aurelien Tchouameni nor Eduardo Camavinga impressing against Espanyol. But, Camavinga has been in a much better nick in recent times than his compatriot and should get the nod.

As for the attacking trident, captain Karim Benzema is back in the squad after sitting out against Espanyol with an ankle issue. He is certain to start as the centre-forward while Vinicius Jr is a certainty on the left flank.

On the right, the likes of Rodrygo Goes, Marco Asensio and Federico Valverde are all options for Ancelotti, but it is the latter who is likely to get the nod tonight.

Real Madrid Predicted XI: Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Rudiger, Nacho; Modric, Camavinga, Kroos; Valverde, Benzema, Vinicius.


Rodrygo Goes has often made a big impact coming off the bench, especially in the big games and is certain to get minutes at some stage against Liverpool. Marco Asensio is another player who can provide goals from the bench and can be an asset.

Alternatively, if Carlo Ancelotti is looking to shore things up in midfield, the energy of Dani Ceballos might come in handy while Aurelien Tchouameni would also be in contention.

Youngster Alvaro Rodriguez has been making quite an impression of late and could get some minutes under his belt as well.

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