As Real Madrid get set to take on Valencia at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday night, manager Carlo Ancelotti has released the squad list of players he will have at his disposal for the game.
Real Madrid come into the game on the back of a 3-0 win over SC Braga and will be eager to carry that momentum forward into tomorrow’s game especially after the goalless draw vs Rayo Vallecano last weekend.
But, Los Blancos will have to cope with two more fresh injuries for the Valencia clash as Arda Guler and Kepa Arrizabalaga have now joined Dani Ceballos, Thibaut Courtois, Eder Militao, and Aurelien Tchouameni on the sidelines.
Nico Paz, who made his first-team debut for the Merengues against Braga, is once again on the squad list and could get his maiden La Liga appearance.
Jude Bellingham has trained normally after having recovered from his shoulder issue and could be in line for a return to the starting XI.
Meanwhile, Antonio Rudiger is also unavailable due to suspension. It has prompted Ancelotti to name 19-year-old defender Edgar Pujol in the squad for the game against Valencia.
With Kepa ruled out, another young talent, Fran Gonzalez, will be acting as the second-choice goalkeeper for Real Madrid tomorrow, with Andriy Lunin assuming duties as the starter.
Official: Real Madrid starting lineup against Napoli | UCL GW 5
Real Madrid are back in the Champions League following their impressive win against Cadiz on the weekend as they host Napoli at the Santiago Bernabeu for gameweek five.
They have already secured qualification to the round of 16, and even a point today would secure first place in the group.
With several players still injured, Carlo Ancelotti has opted for his best available starting lineup, with Daniel Carvajal taking responsibility of the captain’s armband at right-back. He will be aided by Ferland Mendy, who starts on the other side.
Meanwhile, in between them, David Alaba returns to the fold as the starting centre-back, partnering Antonio Rudiger. This duo has the responsibility of screening Andriy Lunin, who continues in goal in Kepa and Thibaut Courtois’ absence.
With both Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni out, Toni Kroos gets the chance to play as the holding midfielder for two games in a row. Federico Valverde retains his spot, as well, while Dani Ceballos comes in for the injured Luka Modric in central midfield.
Rodrygo will spearhead the team’s frontline as one of the two twin forwards, while Brahim Diaz gets the nod over Joselu. Jude Bellingham is the final, and arguably the most important piece of the puzzle, playing behind the front-two.
Confirmed Madrid XI: Lunin; Carvajal, Rudiger, Alaba, Mendy; Valverde, Kroos, Ceballos; Bellingham; Diaz, Rodrygo