Real Madrid have a chance to do a European double tonight when they lock horns against Europa League champions from the 2022/23 season Eintracht Frankfurt. The two sides will meet at the Helsinki Olympic Stadium in Finland for the encounter.
As is tradition, Madrid have released their starting lineup early in the evening. It is rather straightforward, too, as many had already expected.
Thibaut Courtois starts in goal for Los Blancos, while David Alaba and Eder Militao guard him as the centre-backs. They are flanked by none other than Ferland Mendy as the left-back, and Daniel Carvajal on the right.
Aurilien Tchouameni will not be handed his official debut from the get-go tonight as Casemiro takes his place as the defensive midfielder. Toni Kroos and Luka Modric complete the Bermuda Triangle in the middle of the park.
In attack, we have captain Karim Benzema spearheading the trident, with Vinicius Jr. and Federico Valverde on the left and right flank, respectively.
Confirmed Madrid XI: Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Mendy; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Valverde, Benzema, Vinicius
Real Madrid rising star suffered against Atletico due to veteran forward’s absence, says Simeone
Real Madrid’s 3-1 defeat to Atletico Madrid was not the first time were in trouble this season. In fact, the Merengues have gone behind early in almost every league game so far.
However, the difference on Sunday night was that they never really mounted a comeback. More importantly, Jude Bellingham did not come good, for the first time.
Simeone unravels the mystery
A jubilant Diego Simeone spoke to the media after his side downed Real Madrid by three goals to one and spoke about a plethora of topics.
Interestingly, he commented specifically on why Bellingham did not have an impact at Civitas Metropolitano, citing the absence of Joselu as a key factor.
“No, the spaces were reduced and I think that Joselu’s lack of presence left him with fewer chances to get there, when he takes advantage of Joselu’s aerial play. We controlled him better, he’s extraordinary,” he said, as quoted by AS.
He even called out the refereeing on the night and insisted that the Real Madrid star-boy should have seen red for his late tackle on Angel Correa, saying:
“It looked like a sending-off to me live, it was a hard leg up, with Angelito hitting the ball.”
Ironically, he defended his defender Jose Maria Gimenez for an equally threatening tackle on the night.
“A bad foul, it’s a yellow card because it goes sideways. Bellingham goes from the front and I think it’s a bit more,” he stated paradoxically.
No time to lament
The game at Civitas Metropolitano may not have gone Real Madrid’s way. Yet, it is good for the Merengues to taste defeat early and see the gaping holes in their dynamic.
Carlo Ancelotti admitted in his press conference that he bore the lion’s share of the fault for Sunday’s loss and that he would have done things differently if given the chance.
“Maybe I could have done it better. It’s pretty clear. When the team doesn’t do what it has to do, it’s my responsibility,” he stated.
Nevertheless, Los Blancos have a hectic schedule ahead with two games in the next five days and a UCL fixture against Napoli next week. With Vinicius Jr back, one hopes they find their mojo once again.