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Official: Real Madrid starting lineup against Villarreal



Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Real Madrid narrowly escaped extra time in the Copa del Rey as they secured a 0-1 win against Cacereno. Rodrygo scored the winner in the 70th minute, proving clutch yet again.

He has, however, been dropped in favour of Carlo Ancelotti’s first-choice front three vs Villarreal.

Karim Benzema takes hold of the captain’s armband as the no. 9, flanked by Vinicius Jr. on the left and Federico Valverde on the right.

The second line of defence features Toni Kroos and Luka Modric as the advanced midfielders, with Aurelien Tchouameni behind them screening the back four. Dani Ceballos and Eduardo Camavinga drop out to the bench.

Presumably, Eder Militao has been given the nod ahead of Lucas Vazquez at right-back in the absence of Dani Carvajal, with Ferland Mendy on the opposite side.

In between them, we have Antonio Rudiger and David Alaba in central defence, guarding Thibaut Courtois, who starts in goal after recovering from his knock.

Eden Hazard, celebrating his 32nd birthday today, starts on the bench, along with Marco Asensio.

Interestingly, this will be the first time in the 21st century that Real Madrid will play without a Spanish player in the starting XI in a La Liga clash.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid not contemplating rehiring Jose Mourinho with Ancelotti’s future uncertain



Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Carlo Ancelotti’s uncertain future has caused a severe rise in reports over potential replacements for the manager post at Real Madrid. There is no shortage of options for the administration at the Santiago Bernabeu as they continue to scout the right man to take the team forward.

Jose Mourinho was one of the candidates speculated to be considered internally at the club. However, MARCA has come out to deny such a possibility. As it stands, Real Madrid do not consider the return of the former manager as an option.

Over the past few years, it has become common to see the Merengues look towards managers for a second stint. The formula worked wonders when they brought back Zinedine Zidane in 2019 for a new term and he pioneered a ten-match winning streak to give his side the edge over Barcelona to clinch La Liga.

Their next step led them to Ancelotti, who had already managed the team before, and the result was similar. In the first season of his second stint, he led Los Blancos to the UEFA Champions League and La Liga.

It is thus not surprising that Mourinho’s name has re-emerged as a candidate to arrive next summer. The Portuguese led the side from 2010-2013 and took down Barcelona’s golden generation to win one La Liga, one Copa Del Rey and one Spanish Super Cup. The Champions League was the one big void in his achievements in Spain.

The 60-year-old tactician currently serves as the manager of AS Roma in Serie A and has seen moderate success at the club. The Italians sit fifth on the table with 14 wins in 27 games. They have scored 35 goals and conceded 26 in their league run so far.

A second stint at the Santiago Bernabeu, however, is not on the cards for the Portuguese.

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