Matches continue to come hard and fast for Real Madrid, who take on Sevilla at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan in gameweek 32 of La Liga. A win here would take them 15 points clear at the top and in with a real shot of sealing the title in gameweek 34 itself.
As has been tradition almost all season, Carlo Ancelotti has announced his starting lineup almost two hours ahead of the game with three changes to the team that took on Chelsea in midweek.
The suspended Casemiro is replaced by Eduardo Camavinga in midfield, while Luka Modric and Toni Kroos flank him on the right and left respectively.
Karim Benzema speadheads the attack, hoping to add to his bizarre goal tally this season. He has Vinicius Jr. for support on the left, while Federico Valverde retains his spot on the right side of the trident.
There are two changes in the back-four. Eder Militao comes in for Nacho afetr serving his UCL suspension, while David Alaba continues alongside him in the heart of the defence.
Dani Carvajal continues at right-back, while Lucas Vazquez presumably starts at left-back in the absence of Ferland Mendy and Marcelo. Thibaut Courtois continues to don the gloves for Los Blancos.
Confirmed Madrid XI: Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Vazquez; Modric, Camavinga, Kroos; Valverde, Benzema, Vinicius
Ancelotti considering playing a makeshift centre-back pairing for Real Madrid against Valencia – report
Real Madrid will take on Valencia on Saturday, looking to maintain their solid lead at the top of the league table.
The Spanish giants are leading the standing with a six-point lead over Girona. A win against Valencia could help them solidify their position at the top while potentially opening up an opportunity to extend the lead to more than six points.
Heading into this game, though, Carlo Ancelotti is facing multiple setbacks, especially in the defensive unit, with Eder Militao, David Alaba and Thibaut Courtois still missing due to injuries.
This will once again put pressure on Ancelotti, as far as the team selection is concerned.
Rudiger & Tchouameni to partner at centre-back vs Valencia
Fortunately for the Real Madrid coach, much of his experimentations this season have worked, including Aurelien Tchouameni’s supreme performances at centre-back.
With that in mind, Diario AS reports Ancelotti is considering playing a makeshift central defensive pair against Valencia, comprising Antonio Rudiger and Tchouameni.
This is not the first time the young Frenchman will have to accompany Rudiger at centre-back. He did so earlier in the year when Real Madrid took on RCD Mallorca.
Interestingly, Real Madrid were able to retain a clean sheet, with Rudiger scoring the winning goal, in a narrow 1-0 victory.
What are Ancelotti’s other options?
Ancelotti will be hoping for a similar outcome this time around. However, it must be noted that the Italian will be boosted by the return of Dani Carvajal from suspension.
The veteran Spaniard can be an option at centre-back. But given the way how Tchouameni has impressed onlookers with his performances at centre-back, there is very little reason why he shouldn’t continue in the position.
Tchouameni has even been compared to Javier Mascherano by former Spanish coach Roberto Moreno.
Other than Carvajal, though, Nacho Fernandez is another option for Ancelotti. But the veteran defender is suffering with discomfort and Ancelotti has no plans to risk it.