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Official: Real Madrid starting lineup against Villarreal | Copa del Rey round of 16

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Photo by NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid will be looking to get back to winning ways as they take on Villarreal in the Copa del Rey round of 16 tonight. Carlo Ancelotti’s men will not be in high spirits after losing out to Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup final.

Given their previous meeting against Yellow Submarines, Ancelotti has not taken any chances for this game, choosing to start the best possible XI at his disposal.

Karim Benzema will assume responsibility as the captain, spearheading the attack as the striker. He will have Rodrygo and Vinicius Jr in his aid on the right and left, respectively.

With Luka Modric rested, Federico Valverde mans the midfield as one of the advanced 8s, alongside Eduardo Camavinga, who is expected to play in central midfield, too. Toni Kroos, meanwhile, takes over from Aurelien Tchouameni as the defensive midfielder.

In defence, Antonio Rudiger gets another shot to impress in the absence of David Alaba in central defence. Eder Militao, too, retains his spot, but there is a change at right-back, with Dani Carvajal dropped in favour of Nacho. Ferland Mendy, though, continues at LB.

Andriy Lunin is the regular starter for Madrid in cup games, but Thibaut Courtois has been given the nod in goal due to the difficulty of this fixture.

Confirmed Madrid XI: Courtois; Nacho, Militao, Rudiger, Mendy; Valverde, Kroos, Camavinga; Rodrygo, Benzema, Vinicius

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid forward set for talks with Arsenal this week – report

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Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images

With less than six months left on his contract, Marco Asensio looks to be on his way out of Real Madrid very soon. The Spaniard has not yet started talks to extend his contract with the Spanish giants, which has garnered the eyes from several top clubs across Europe.

One of the clubs interested in his signature happens to be Premier League leaders Arsenal. Mikel Arteta is said to be a fan of the player, and will try to be bring him to North London on a free transfer this summer.

According to Mirror, Asensio’s agents will fly to London this week to get an a better understanding Arsenal’s interest in the player. Talks are scheduled with Arsenal, among possibly other clubs.

Asensio’s priority remains to extend with Arsenal, but not at ‘any cost’. The winger is looking for raise with his new contract to go along with a four-year deal. The report states that he currently earns around €130,000 per week at Madrid.

The 27-year-old has been waiting for an official offer from Los Blancos for a while, but the club will wait for March or April before taking a decision on his extension.

Asensio took a while to grow important for Carlo Ancelotti this season, but has been featuring regularly on the right-wing lately. He even scored in 2-0 win against Valencia in midweek, taking his tally to two for the season, excluding three assists as well.

Arsenal are definitely looking to add more firepower to their squad for next season, having already brought in Leandro Trossard in the winter. Asensio could serve as the perfect backup to Bukayo Saka, who has been in incredible form all season.

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