Connect with us

MU Shorts

Modric, Vinicius start in a 4-3-3: How Real Madrid could line up against Al Hilal



Photo by Yasser Bakhsh/Getty Images

The FIFA Club World Cup is a competition usually dominated and won by the European Champions. However, the gap in quality between Europe and the rest of the world has been bridged to a large extent in recent years, and the recent World Cup is a testament to that.

Real Madrid’s second trophy of the season, the title of Club World Champions, and a €6 million prize money will be on the line when they step onto the field in Morocco on Saturday night. 

To walk away with the accolade, the men in white must see off Al Hilal. The Saudi-based side stunned Flamengo in the semi-finals in a dominant performance where they scored three times in 70 minutes and are deserved finalists purely on merit.

It will be vital for the Real Madrid players to keep their heads down and work hard for ninety minutes to earn the result they deserve. Their recent run may not be promising, but they are the clear favourites heading into the tie.

Madrid Universal brings you the possible lineup Carlo Ancelotti could field on Saturday night.


Thibaut Courtois would be the natural choice to start the but given his recent fitness setback, it will be Andriy Lunin that guards the post for a third successive game.

Ancelotti’s problems with injured players extend to the next department as Eder Militao has only just returned to training after an injury layoff. Antonio Rudiger must thus hold the game by the scruff. He is expected to start alongside David Alaba who is completely fit.

At left-back, the Italian tactician finds himself without the services of Ferland Mendy. It has seen Eduardo Camavinga rise to prominence as a makeshift left-back. Needless to say, it is the Ancelotti way to not change a working system, giving the Frenchman good chances to start.

Dani Carvajal missed the semi-final against Al Ahly due to fever, but is expected to return at right-back.

Carvajal set to return. (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images)

In midfield, Luka Modric has been rotated frequently since the World Cup. The Croatian has started on the bench in two of Real Madrid’s last four games. Yet, he has always been one to step up on the big nights and should play right from the start.

Modric will undoubtedly be joined by Toni Kroos in the midfield. The German icon is one of Ancelotti’s most indispensable players and will look to control the tempo of the game as he usually does.

The final piece in the midfield unit will be Aurelien Tchouameni. Over the past year, the 23-year-old has shown the mentality and calmness to operate at the highest level for both club and country.

Real Madrid enjoyed a special night midweek, putting four goals past a helpless Al Ahly. All three starting forwards were on the scoresheet, giving the manager no reason to consider any changes.

Vinicius Jr will, thus, start on the left wing once more in the final. Federico Valverde tormented the Egypt-based side’s defence with his tenacious runs in the last game and will hold into his starting spot. The final name on the sheet will be Rodrygo who has silently been one of Real Madrid’s players of the season.


Karim Benzema may not be fit to start, but one cannot keep the Ballon d’Or winner away from a final for long. He could come on in the second half in place of Rodrygo.

Dani Ceballos has turned around his situation at Real Madrid with a good run of form and could replace Modric to improve the tempo of the game. Another valuable resource at Ancelotti’s disposal is Nacho Fernandez, especially given that Alaba may not be fit to complete the ninety minutes. 

Two offbeat options for the manager are Sergio Arribas and Marco Asensio. The participation of the duo will entirely depend on the match situation and the demand for goals.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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.

Continue Reading