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Official: Real Madrid squad list to take on Napoli | UEFA Champions League

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Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Real Madrid will lock horns with Italian champions Napoli in their penultimate group-stage fixture of the UEFA Champions League tomorrow at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The record-European champions have already secured progression to the knockout stages of the competition but will be intent on grabbing all three points on Wednesday to seal the top spot in Group C.

Ahead of the game, manager Carlo Ancelotti has announced the squad list of players that will be at his disposal to take on Napoli.

Unsurprisingly, Luka Modric misses out after suffering an injury during the Merengues’ last game against Cadiz on Sunday night.

He joins seven other Real Madrid stars on the sidelines with Thibaut Courtois, Eder Militao, Arda Guler, Aurelien Tchouameni, Eduardo Camavinga, Vinicius Jr., and Kepa Arrizabalaga all unavailable.

Dani Ceballos is back in the Champions League squad and could be in line for a start while youngsters like Nico Paz and Gonzalo Garcia, who made his first-team debut vs Cadiz, could also get minutes tomorrow.

There is also a call-up for young Theo Zidane, with the 21-year-old starlet, son of club legend Zinedine Zidane, being brought in to make up numbers in the midfield unit.

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Real Madrid News

Ancelotti considering playing a makeshift centre-back pairing for Real Madrid against Valencia – report

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Photo by DESIREE MARTIN/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid will take on Valencia on Saturday, looking to maintain their solid lead at the top of the league table.

The Spanish giants are leading the standing with a six-point lead over Girona. A win against Valencia could help them solidify their position at the top while potentially opening up an opportunity to extend the lead to more than six points.

Heading into this game, though, Carlo Ancelotti is facing multiple setbacks, especially in the defensive unit, with Eder Militao, David Alaba and Thibaut Courtois still missing due to injuries.

This will once again put pressure on Ancelotti, as far as the team selection is concerned.

Rudiger & Tchouameni to partner at centre-back vs Valencia

Fortunately for the Real Madrid coach, much of his experimentations this season have worked, including Aurelien Tchouameni’s supreme performances at centre-back.

With that in mind, Diario AS reports Ancelotti is considering playing a makeshift central defensive pair against Valencia, comprising Antonio Rudiger and Tchouameni.

Ancelotti to go with a makeshift central defensive pairing vs Valencia (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

This is not the first time the young Frenchman will have to accompany Rudiger at centre-back. He did so earlier in the year when Real Madrid took on RCD Mallorca.

Interestingly, Real Madrid were able to retain a clean sheet, with Rudiger scoring the winning goal, in a narrow 1-0 victory.

What are Ancelotti’s other options?

Ancelotti will be hoping for a similar outcome this time around. However, it must be noted that the Italian will be boosted by the return of Dani Carvajal from suspension.

The veteran Spaniard can be an option at centre-back. But given the way how Tchouameni has impressed onlookers with his performances at centre-back, there is very little reason why he shouldn’t continue in the position.

Tchouameni has even been compared to Javier Mascherano by former Spanish coach Roberto Moreno.

Other than Carvajal, though, Nacho Fernandez is another option for Ancelotti. But the veteran defender is suffering with discomfort and Ancelotti has no plans to risk it.

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