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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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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid forward set for talks with Arsenal this week – report

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Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images

With less than six months left on his contract, Marco Asensio looks to be on his way out of Real Madrid very soon. The Spaniard has not yet started talks to extend his contract with the Spanish giants, which has garnered the eyes from several top clubs across Europe.

One of the clubs interested in his signature happens to be Premier League leaders Arsenal. Mikel Arteta is said to be a fan of the player, and will try to be bring him to North London on a free transfer this summer.

According to Mirror, Asensio’s agents will fly to London this week to get an a better understanding Arsenal’s interest in the player. Talks are scheduled with Arsenal, among possibly other clubs.

Asensio’s priority remains to extend with Arsenal, but not at ‘any cost’. The winger is looking for raise with his new contract to go along with a four-year deal. The report states that he currently earns around €130,000 per week at Madrid.

The 27-year-old has been waiting for an official offer from Los Blancos for a while, but the club will wait for March or April before taking a decision on his extension.

Asensio took a while to grow important for Carlo Ancelotti this season, but has been featuring regularly on the right-wing lately. He even scored in 2-0 win against Valencia in midweek, taking his tally to two for the season, excluding three assists as well.

Arsenal are definitely looking to add more firepower to their squad for next season, having already brought in Leandro Trossard in the winter. Asensio could serve as the perfect backup to Bukayo Saka, who has been in incredible form all season.

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