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Official: Real Madrid starting XI against Atletico Madrid

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Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Real Madrid have confirmed their starting lineup for the derby against Atletico Madrid at the Civitas Metropolitano. In what promises to be a feisty encounter between the two local rivals, Carlo Ancelotti has opted to name his strongest possible XI to reclaim the top spot in La Liga.

Thibaut Courtois is the undisputed starter between the sticks for Los Blancos and retains his place against his former club.

The Belgian international is shielded by a backline comprising Dani Carvajal, Eder Militao, David Alaba and Ferland Mendy, meaning new signing Antonio Rudiger has been omitted by manager Ancelotti. Militao’s return from injury is a major boost for Real Madrid.

There is a notable change in midfield as well, as veteran star Toni Kroos makes a return to the starting XI after being benched against RB Leipzig in the midweek UEFA Champions League encounter.

The German superstar pairs up along with Luka Modric and Aurelien Tchouameni in the centre of the park, meaning Eduardo Camavinga gets dropped to the bench.

Meanwhile, no changes are seen in the attacking unit as Ancelotti has stuck with the trio of Federico Valverde, Rodrygo Goes and Vinicius Jr, with Eden Hazard and Marco Asensio being options from the bench for the visitors.

Confirmed Real Madrid XI: Courtois, Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Mendy, Modric, Tchouameni, Kroos, Valverde, Rodrygo, Vinicius.

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Matches

Camavinga, Tchouameni start in a 4-3-1-2: How Real Madrid could line up against Barcelona

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Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid will be aiming to get a step closer to lifting the La Liga title when they face off against FC Barcelona later tonight at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Real Madrid are currently seated atop the league table, eight points clear of Barça in second place. And another win tonight would stretch the lead to 11 points, all but guaranteeing their coronation as Spanish champions.

It will not be easy with Barcelona motivated after their defeat against PSG in the UEFA Champions League while fatigue could also be a factor after Los Blancos toiled it out for 120 minutes against Man City earlier this week.

Heading into the game, Real Madrid have one fitness concern as Ferland Mendy did not train on Saturday due to some overload in his left leg, although he was included in the squad list by Carlo Ancelotti.

Thibaut Courtois and David Alaba are the only injury-enforced absentees for the league leaders and here’s how Real Madrid could line up tonight against Xavi Hernandez’s side.

Starters

Fresh off his penalty shootout heroics against Manchester City, Andriy Lunin will guard Real Madrid’s goal again and hope to help his team to another crucial victory.

Antonio Rudiger has been in brilliant form this season and is a guaranteed starter at the heart of the Merengues’ defence. The German international should pair up with club captain Nacho Fernandez to stop Robert Lewandowski & co.

Even though there has been some chatter about Lucas Vazquez starting at right-back, Dani Carvajal is expected to get the nod as usual.

Mendy’s possible absence, however, could pave the way for Eduardo Camavinga to start at left-back for Real Madrid, with Ancelotti likely to trust the French midfielder in a makeshift role over Fran Garcia.

Camavinga could fill in at left-back. (Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images)

Aurelien Tchouameni is back after missing the Manchester City game through suspension and will slot in as the defensive midfielder against Barcelona.

Federico Valverde and Toni Kroos will take up the two interior midfield positions for Real Madrid while Jude Bellingham will operate as the lone attacking midfielder.

However, it will not be a surprise to see Real Madrid transition into a 4-4-2 with Valverde and Bellingham moving out wide on the right and left flanks, respectively.

Rodrygo Goes and Vinicius Jr. are the undisputed starters up top in attack, with the former likely to operate from the left after his recent success while the latter will play slightly more centrally.

Real Madrid Predicted Lineup: Lunin, Carvajal, Rudiger, Nacho, Camavinga, Tchouameni, Valverde, Kroos, Bellingham, Vinicius, Rodrygo.

Substitutes

Brahim Diaz and Luka Modric are players that Carlo Ancelotti counts on from the bench for every game and that will not change tonight against Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Joselu is also an option that Ancelotti could turn to if he wished to change things up in the attacking unit.

Eder Militao could also get some minutes, depending on the game situation, as Ancelotti hopes to get the Brazilian into match-rhythm in time to face Bayern Munich.

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