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Official: Real Madrid lineup against Valencia | Spanish Super Cup

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Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images

With Real Madrid set to face Valencia in the Spanish Super Cup semi-finals in a matter of hours, manager Carlo Ancelotti has announced his starting XI for the match.

Los Blancos go into the game without the services of midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni and defender David Alaba, both of whom are out injured. Ferland Mendy also missed training yesterday due to muscle overload and is only fit enough to be on the bench.

In his place, Nacho Fernandez gets the nod at left-back while Lucas Vazquez starts on the right side of the defence even though Dani Carvajal has recovered from his injury. Eder Militao and Antonio Rudiger form the centre-back partnership with Thibaut Courtois in goal.

Interestingly, Ancelotti has opted to bench veteran midfielder Luka Modric for the game, instead opting to start Eduardo Camavinga alongside Federico Valverde and Toni Kroos, with the 20-year-old Frenchman likely to operate as the No. 6 in Tchouameni’s absence.

Up top, Karim Benzema starts as the centre-forward and the captain will look to lead the team by example. Flanking the Frenchman will be the Brazilian duo of Rodrygo Goes and Vinicius Jr.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid have not ‘given up’ on Karim Benzema’s renewal yet – report

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Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images

The cloud of uncertainty over Karim Benzema’s future has served as a major headache for the Real Madrid board, as they kickstart their team planning ahead of the new season.

Recent reports claim the Frenchman is strongly considering a move to Saudi Arabia, after receiving a lucrative €150 million offer from Al Ittihad. He was close to renewing his contract at Santiago Bernabeu not too long ago, but it appears the tables have turned lately.

Nevertheless, Real Madrid are yet to give up on Benzema and still harbour hopes of renewing his contract in the coming weeks, reports Alfredo Matilla.

The Spanish journalist suggests Real Madrid have not closed the file on Benzema. Coach Carlo Ancelotti has recently met the forward to clarify his future and it appears the club are set to do everything they can to keep hold of the player.

Benzema’s departure, after all, could put the club in a major dilemma, where they must either sign a top-class striker or settle for a low-cost alternative for the entirety of next season.

Harry Kane has been earmarked as the ideal replacement for Benzema. But his acquisition could potentially jeopardise Real Madrid’s bid to sign either Erling Haaland or Kylian Mbappe in 2024. The club have also faced difficulties negotiating with Daniel Levy, the Spurs chairman.

As far as the low-cost options are concerned, Real Madrid are interested in Roberto Firmino, who will become a free agent in the summer.

However, the Brazilian international is not the most productive striker around and his struggles in front of goal could put more pressure on players like Vinicius Junior next season.

Real Madrid, therefore, will hope to keep hold of Benzema’s services for another year. Unfortunately, though, the player has given a cold response so far and left training early, without speaking too much.

So it will be interesting to see whether or not the veteran striker opts to remain at Bernabeu for another year.

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