Real Madrid have made the trip to London to lock horns against the defending champions of the coveted Champions League, Chelsea. The two teams met in the semi-finals last year, with the Blues trumping out the side from the Spanish capital.
For today, Carlo Ancelotti has made one surprising selection in the form of Federico Valverde, who is expected to start at the right-wing. He will be partnered by Karim Benzema and Vinicius Jr. in the attack who start centrally and on the left of the attack.
The golden trident of Luka Modric, Casemiro, and Toni Kroos starts in the midfield hoping to be in control against Thomas Tuchel’s side.
Finally, in defence, David Alaba takes his spot as one of the two central defenders, with Eder Militao anchoring the back-four alongside him. Dani Carvajal will be responsible for providing width from the right, while Ferland Mendy starts on the left.
No doubt about the man in goal as Thibaut Courois gears up for another tough night.
Official Real Marid XI: Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Mendy; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Valverde, Benzema, Vinicius
Ancelotti ‘liked’ €70 million Portuguese full-back offered to Real Madrid in January
Joao Cancelo has, for a long time, been considered one of the best full-backs in the world of football. What makes the Portuguese international special is not just his ability to contribute flawlessly at both ends of the field but also the fact that he can recreate his magic on both flanks.
For a player of such quality to depart Manchester City unsurprisingly broke the internet. Cancelo signed for Bayern Munich on a six-month loan in January with a whopping €70 million purchase clause included in the paperwork.
According to reports from AS, the player preferred a move to Spain. Both Real Madrid and Barcelona were offered Cancelo’s services, and it was only after both La Liga giants rejected it that Bayern Munich got the chance to sign him.
For the Catalans, the player’s salary was the hurdle preventing his arrival. In Real Madrid’s case, however, it was the board’s reluctance to change the squad midway through the season.
For a long time now, Real Madrid have maintained a low profile in winter transfer windows. Carlo Ancelotti liked the full-back’s profile and saw him as a good fit, but the management would not hear of it.
Real Madrid have had a torrid time at the full-back position in recent weeks, indicating that the squad was in urgent need of new signings.
For almost a month, Ancelotti has been without a right-back after both Lucas Vazquez and Dani Carvajal suffered injuries. Just as the latter recovered, Ferland Mendy hobbled off the field and could miss six weeks of action.
Cancelo’s signing would have thus been the ideal way to kill two birds with one stone. Nevertheless, the management have their faith in the young Vinicius Tobias and it remains to be seen if their gamble pays off.