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Official: Real Madrid starting lineup against Atletico Madrid

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Photo by GLYN KIRK/IKIMAGES/AFP via Getty Images

It has been a week to remember for Real Madrid, who not only sealed their 35th La Liga title last weekend with a thrilling 4-0 win over Espanyol, but have also booked a berth in the finals of the 2021/22 Champions League finals.

After an enthralling 120 minutes against Manchester City, though, Carlo Ancelotti has been forced to make some changes in the starting lineup against Atletico Madrid. These start with the goalkeeper, where Thibaut Courtois has been replaced by Andriy Lunin.

He has a backline of four defenders screening him, with Nacho Fernandez starting at left-back. Eder Militao and Jesus Vallejo man the centre-back slots, while Lucas Vazquez takes over the right-back slot.

In midfield Luka Modric has been rested to give way for Eduardo Camavinga. The Frenchman was superb against Manchester City, and should be one of the difference makers tonight. Casemiro and Toni Kroos round off the midfield trident.

There are three changes in the attack as well. Karim Benzema does not start, with Ancelotti choosing Mariano as the number 9 tonight. Super-sub in midweek, Rodrygo, starts on the left, with Marco Asensio as the right-winger.

Confirmed Madrid XI: Courtois; Vazquez, Militao, Vallejo, Nacho; Camavinga, Casemiro, Kroos; Asensio, Mariano, Rodrygo

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid midfielder set for a change in roles heading into the new season

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(Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images

Federico Valverde, the dynamic midfielder for Real Madrid, is once again on the cusp of adapting to a new role under the guidance of coach Carlo Ancelotti, reports Mario Calderon for Mundo Deportivo

Valverde’s remarkable versatility has been a key asset for Real Madrid, allowing him to excel in various positions on the field. This adaptability has been crucial for the team, and it seems another transformation is on the horizon for the 25-year-old Uruguayan.

The team chances and so does Valverde

His potential shift in role comes amid changes within the team, notably the reassignment of the number ‘8’ shirt to Toni Kroos. 

The German midfielder’s responsibility for constructing the game will likely be shared among several players to ensure a seamless transition.

Here, Valverde’s ability to quickly grasp new concepts will be a significant advantage for both him and Ancelotti. Even during the current period, with many players still absent, Ancelotti is already strategizing on how to best integrate everyone into the team dynamics without compromising performance.

Federico Valverde might play a different role at Real Madrid next season. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

Marcelo Bielsa must be credited

Valverde’s recent experiences with the Uruguayan national team in the Copa America under coach Marcelo Bielsa have further honed his skills. 

Bielsa entrusted Valverde with the captain’s armband and deployed him in a deeper role, where he was responsible for initiating plays from the back alongside his teammate, PSG’s young pivot, Manuel Ugarte. 

This experience has enriched Valverde’s understanding of the game, adding another layer to his already impressive skill set.

As the new season approaches, Valverde will need to re-establish himself in whatever role Ancelotti deems fit—be it as a winger, a pivot, or even a full-back, a position he has previously played under former coach Zinedine Zidane. 

Regardless of where he is positioned, Valverde’s importance to the team is undeniable. His versatility, coupled with his ability to adapt quickly, makes him a pivotal player for Real Madrid’s upcoming campaign.

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