Real Madrid vs Valencia has been one of the tastiest fixtures in La Liga over the last decade or so, with Los Ches picking up several points against the record Spanish champions, and even ending their domestic title dreams on a couple of occasions.
Currently unbeaten for five games, Valencia have picked up a good streak across all competitions, but Madrid will be looking to put that run to bed at the Santiago Bernabeu tonight.
Carlo Ancelotti has gone for the strongest possible starting lineup at his disposal, but Jude Bellingham once again missing out due to a shoulder injury.
Instead, Brahim Diaz continues as the attacking midfielder. He will spearhead the attack, with Rodrygo and Vinicius Jr beside him in the 4-3-1-2.
Eduardo Camavinga retains his place as the no. 6 with Aurelien Tchouameni injured for a few months. Toni Kroos has been retained in the team ahead of Luka Modric, while Federico Valverde rounds off the midfield as the final piece of the puzzle.
Antonio Rudiger picked up his fifth yellow card of the season against Rayo Vallecano, which has given way for Nacho to start the game tonight alongside mainstay David Alaba. These two will screen Andriy Lunin, who starts with Kepa Arrizalabaga and Thibaut Courtois injured.
Finally, La Fabrica duo Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy have been tasked with the duty of protecting the wings as the right and left-back, respectively.
Confirmed Madrid XI: Lunin; Carvajal, Nacho, Alaba, Mendy; Valverde, Camavinga, Kroos; Brahim; Rodrygo, Vinicius
Official: Real Madrid starting lineup against Napoli | UCL GW 5
Real Madrid are back in the Champions League following their impressive win against Cadiz on the weekend as they host Napoli at the Santiago Bernabeu for gameweek five.
They have already secured qualification to the round of 16, and even a point today would secure first place in the group.
With several players still injured, Carlo Ancelotti has opted for his best available starting lineup, with Daniel Carvajal taking responsibility of the captain’s armband at right-back. He will be aided by Ferland Mendy, who starts on the other side.
Meanwhile, in between them, David Alaba returns to the fold as the starting centre-back, partnering Antonio Rudiger. This duo has the responsibility of screening Andriy Lunin, who continues in goal in Kepa and Thibaut Courtois’ absence.
With both Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni out, Toni Kroos gets the chance to play as the holding midfielder for two games in a row. Federico Valverde retains his spot, as well, while Dani Ceballos comes in for the injured Luka Modric in central midfield.
Rodrygo will spearhead the team’s frontline as one of the two twin forwards, while Brahim Diaz gets the nod over Joselu. Jude Bellingham is the final, and arguably the most important piece of the puzzle, playing behind the front-two.
Confirmed Madrid XI: Lunin; Carvajal, Rudiger, Alaba, Mendy; Valverde, Kroos, Ceballos; Bellingham; Diaz, Rodrygo