Carlo Ancelotti has seemingly opted to replace star striker Karim Benzema with Brazilian prodigy Rodrygo Goes for the El Clasico against Barcelona later tonight at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The French hitman is ruled out with a leg injury, leaving a gaping hole in the frontline for Los Blancos. Despite having natural strikers at his disposal in Luka Jovic and Mariano Diaz, Ancelotti has gone in with Rodrygo in a false-nine role.
The Brazilian will have compatriot Vinicius Junior for company on the left-hand side, while Federico Valverde gets the nod on the right flank, possibly to combat the attacking threat of Jordi Alba.
Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Casemiro will form the midfield trifecta for the La Liga title favourites. Eduardo Camavinga finds himself on the bench yet again, while Marco Asensio also remains among the substitutes.
In defence, there are no major surprises as Nacho Fernandez moves out to left-back in the absence of Ferland Mendy. The Real Madrid cantera also leads the team on the night against Barcelona. Eder Militao, David Alaba, and Dani Carvajal form the rest of the backline while Thibaut Courtois continues in goal.
Official Real Madrid XI: Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Nacho; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Valverde, Rodrygo, Vinicius
Real Madrid maintain full confidence in Turkish starlet despite injury woes
Arda Guler’s Real Madrid stint has not gotten off to the start he would have hoped to have given the expectation that preceded the transfer.
Having joined in the summer after Real Madrid outbid their competition to win him over from Fenerbahce for a 20-million-euro fee, buzz was high as the winger was expected to slot into the team quite seamlessly, albeit on a rotational basis.
Unfortunately for the 18-year-old, he has been constantly marred by injuries since completing the move.
Reports have stated that after Guler picked up his third injury since his move, Real Madrid have been concerned and want to take things slow with the player to ensure he is fit as soon as possible after an injury to his quadriceps this time.
The Turk is yet to make his competitive debut for the club, and Real Madrid even sacked their medical chief in November, in light of their injury crises since the beginning of the season.
No loan deal for Guler
However, according to Fabrizio Romano in a recent YouTube video, he states that Madrid maintain full trust and patience in the youngster.
Despite his bad luck with injuries, the latest of which he is scheduled to return from after Christmas, the Galacticos have no intention of loaning out Guler to Turkish clubs despite lots of speculation of them doing so of late.
Romano states that Madrid remain firm on not shaking things up too much with the squad, and they want to keep their roster stable, including Arda Guler.
They want to extend their full support and protection to the player as he aims to return to full fitness and finally make his bow for Madrid either by the end of this month or in 2024.