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Official: Real Madrid starting lineup against Villarreal

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Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Real Madrid will look to extend their winning run to three games across all competitions when they lock horns with Villarreal at the Santiago Bernabeu in a couple of hours.

With a chance to cut the gap to league leaders Barcelona to nine points, the Merengues will be gunning for a victory on their home turf.

Ahead of the big contest against Villarreal, Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has announced the starting XI that will be stepping out to the field.

There are a few changes made to the lineup that started against Barcelona in the Copa del Rey semi-final in midweek.

Antonio Rudiger, for starters, gets the nod in defence ahead of Eder Militao. Meanwhile, David Alaba starts again in the second centre-back slot. As for the full-back positions, Lucas Vazquez and Nacho Fernandez come into the team. Thibaut Courtois continues in goal.

Meanwhile, Aurelien Tchouameni gets a start in the middle of the park, partnered by Dani Ceballos in what seems to be the double pivot in a 4-2-3-1 formation by Ancelotti.

Coming to the attacking unit, Marco Asensio comes slots in on the right flank, while Rodrygo Goes takes up the No. 10 position. Karim Benzema and Vinicius Jr retain their spots in the frontline.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid out-of-favour defender now unlikely to leave the club

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Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid missed out on the signing of Leny Yoro after deciding not to match Manchester United’s offer for the 18-year-old defender.

With the French prodigy now on his way to the Premier League, Los Blancos are assessing their options before deciding whether to sign a new centre-back or not.

As things stand, the reigning champions of Spain and Europe seem to be leaning towards relying on their existing options rather than going into the market.

Jesus Vallejo unlikely to leave

As such, MARCA reports that the likelihood of Jesus Vallejo leaving the club have now significantly reduced.

Indeed, the 27-year-old out-of-favour defender now appears more and more likely to continue at Real Madrid beyond this summer.

Set to stay. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

Vallejo returned to the Santiago Bernabeu after finishing his loan stint at Granada during which he hardly played due to injury and fitness woes.

As such, reports suggested that Carlo Ancelotti & co. were not planning on counting on him next season, even though he was handed a new shirt number recently.

But with the Leny Yoro operation collapsing and Real Madrid not keen on recruiting anyone from the market at this point, the Spanish ace is now unlikely to leave the club.

With David Alaba still sidelined, Antonio Rudiger and Eder Militao will start the new season as the first-choice centre-back pairing and Vallejo will serve as the backup while Aurelien Tchouameni will also be an option.

Vallejo, for his part, wanted to stay put and see out his contract which expires in 2025. And, as things stand, it appears that the player will get his wish.

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