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



Photo by EMMI KORHONEN/Lehtikuva/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid will have a golden opportunity to reduce the gap to the top of the table to five points when they lock horns with CA Osasuna at El Sadar later tonight.

Los Blancos are eight points behind leaders and arch-rivals FC Barcelona and know that they cannot afford any more missteps if they wish to keep the defence of their league title alive.

With Barça scheduled to play on Sunday, Real Madrid will have a chance to cut down the gap and put them under some amount of pressure.

However, the Merengues will have to make do without captain and ace goalkeeper Karim Benzema, who is dealing with fatigue and has, thus, been rested by Carlo Ancelotti, with an eye on the UEFA Champions League clash against Liverpool next Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Toni Kroos also misses out due to gastroenteritis while Real Madrid are also without Ferland Mendy and Mariano Diaz.

Ahead of the clash against Osasuna, Madrid Universal looks at how Ancelotti could set his team out at El Sadar tonight.


Thibaut Courtois is back in the squad after missing the last four matches due to an injury. The Belgian international will reclaim his spot between the sticks from Andriy Lunin against Osasuna.

Meanwhile, Dani Carvajal could be benched in order to keep him fresh for the Liverpool clash. It would lead to Nacho Fernandez starting at right-back for Real Madrid tonight. Eder Militao and Antonio Rudiger are expected to pair up at the heart of the defence.

David Alaba returned to his old left-back position in the game against Elche earlier this week and should get the nod again, over makeshift option Eduardo Camavinga.

Moving into the middle of the park, Ancelotti had already confirmed the identity of two of his three starters, with Luka Modric and Aurelien Tchouameni tipped to walk back into the lineup against Osasuna.

However, the latter has become a last-minute omission from the squad due to flu and Eduardo Camavinga should start as the No. 6 at El Sadar.

Going through a purple patch. (Photo by Yasser Bakhsh/Getty Images)

Dani Ceballos, who was very good in the midweek versus Elche, should retain his spot in the side, to complete the three-man midfield unit for Real Madrid.

With no Benzema, Rodrygo Goes becomes the obvious starter in the centre-forward position for the Spanish champions. Partnering him on the left will be compatriot Vinicius Jr, who is back in the squad after serving out a one-match ban.

Marco Asensio was on target against Elche and should retain his place on the right flank, with Federico Valverde dropping to the bench against Osasuna.

Vinicius · Rodrygo · Asensio
Ceballos · Camavinga · Modric
Alaba · Rudiger · Militao · Nacho


The aforementioned Valverde is very much certain to come on at some point, either in midfield or in attack on the right flank. Youngster Alvaro Rodriguez is another player who will likely get some minutes in the absence of another natural striker in the squad.

Mario Martin could feature in the second period to provide some relief to Modric, who will likely be taken off with an eye on the Liverpool game. Lucas Vazquez would also be an option for Ancelotti, either at right-back or as a winger.

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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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