Modric, Kroos start in a 4-3-3: How Real Madrid could line up against Atletico Madrid
Real Madrid will battle it out with neighbours Atletico Madrid in the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey on Thursday night at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Having gotten the better of Villarreal in the previous round, Los Blancos will be hoping to produce a solid performance against Diego Simeone’s side so that they can take a step closer towards winning the trophy that they have not won in over eight years.
Heading into the match, Carlo Ancelotti has four players unavailable for selection, with Aurelien Tchouameni, Dani Carvajal, Lucas Vazquez and Eden Hazard missing out.
The good news, though, is that David Alaba is back to full fitness and has been included in the squad list for the Atletico Madrid clash.
Ahead of the much-anticipated derby on Thursday night, Madrid Universal looks to predict how the Merengues could line up against the Colchoneros.
For the previous cup tie, Ancelotti selected Thibaut Courtois ahead of Andriy Lunin and given the magnitude of Thursday’s match, the Belgian is expected to continue between the sticks.
The manager has already confirmed that David Alaba will be playing tomorrow and the Austrian is likely to slot in as the centre-back alongside Eder Militao, with Antonio Rudiger dropping out.
With no Carvajal and Vazquez, Ancelotti will once again count on Nacho Fernandez at right-back, something he already confirmed in his press conference. Meanwhile, Ferland Mendy will continue occupying the left side of the defensive line.
Eduardo Camavinga showcased his quality while operating as a defensive midfielder against Athletic Club over the weekend. With Tchouameni still sidelined, it makes sense for the Real Madrid boss to continue with the 20-year-old as the deepest of the three midfielders.
Luka Modric and Toni Kroos were both shock omissions from the league game against Athletic over the weekend. But having given the veterans some rest, Ancelotti will likely recall them for the derby versus Atletico Madrid.
This would lead to Federico Valverde, who was on target in the last meeting vs Atleti, starting on the right flank. Vinicius Jr, who has been under the pump of late, ought to occupy his customary position on the left, with Karim Benzema spearheading the attack.
Vinicius · Benzema · Valverde
Kroos · Camavinga · Modric
Mendy · Alaba · Militao · Nacho
Rodrygo Goes has often made a difference for Real Madrid when coming on from the bench and he will be one of the first members on the bench that Ancelotti will turn to on Thursday.
Dani Ceballos will feel unlucky to drop out to the bench given his recent performances but should get some minutes in the second half. Marco Asensio is another player who the Real Madrid manager will call upon in the latter stages of the contest.
Antonio Rudiger could replace Alaba at some point in the second half considering that the latter is just returning from an injury.
Even though Ancelotti has been reluctant to use Castilla players, Sergio Arribas has been called up to the squad and could be given a few minutes, depending on the situation of the game.
Alvaro, Tchouameni start in a 4-3-3: How Real Madrid could line up against Sevilla
After returning to winning ways against Rayo Vallecano, Real Madrid will be aiming to build on it and collect three more points when they face Sevilla in the penultimate matchweek of the 2022/23 La Liga campaign tonight.
Thanks to the victory over Rayo coupled with Atletico Madrid’s slip-up against Espanyol, Carlo Ancelotti’s men were able to reclaim the second spot in the table and must now fight to keep hold of it in the remaining two matches of the season.
A trip to Sevilla, though, can be a tricky prospect, especially with the team hit by injuries and going with a depleted attacking unit.
Indeed, Real Madrid will be without Karim Benzema, Marco Asensio, and Vinicius Jr tonight against Los Nervionenses due to injuries. Ancelotti thus has only three natural forwards at his disposal for the game at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
With that in mind, here is how Ancelotti could set his Real Madrid team up against Jose Luis Mendilibar’s Sevilla side tonight.
Thibaut Courtois is a guaranteed starter in goal for Real Madrid. The Belgian has always stood up for the team in important matches and will need to do so against Sevilla tonight.
Dani Carvajal has been ruled out of the contest due to suspension, which should pave the way for Lucas Vazquez to get the nod at right-back. Eder Militao should return at centre-back after not starting against Rayo, with the Brazilian partnering Antonio Rudiger
Ferland Mendy will likely get the nod at left-back as he fights for his future at Real Madrid in the final few games of the campaign.
Having fallen behind Eduardo Camavinga and Toni Kroos in the pecking order, Aurelien Tchouameni will have a point to prove as he looks likely to start for Real Madrid in the holding midfield role tonight.
Both Kroos and Luka Modric started in midweek against Rayo and could thus be given a breather tonight, with Dani Ceballos and Camavinga occupying the remaining two midfield slots for the Merengues.
Moving into the attacking unit, manager Carlo Ancelotti is running short on options. As such, Federico Valverde should start out on the right flank against Sevilla.
Meanwhile, even though Eden Hazard is an option, Rodrygo Goes, who scored the winner against Rayo Vallecano, should get the nod on the left wing in the absence of his compatriot Vinicius Jr.
It should pave the way for youngster Alvaro Rodriguez to start in the No. 9 role for Real Madrid against Sevilla, with Karim Benzema unavailable.
Real Madrid Predicted XI: Courtois, Vazquez, Militao, Rudiger, Mendy, Ceballos, Tchouameni, Camavinga, Valverde, Alvaro Rodriguez, Rodrygo.
Given the lack of options, Eden Hazard is certain to make an appearance at some point in the game against Sevilla. The likes of Luka Modric and Toni Kroos may also be called upon if things are not going Real Madrid’s way on the night.
Depending on the game situation, Carlo Ancelotti could turn to Nacho or David Alaba if he is looking to shut up shop.