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Official: Real Madrid starting lineup to face Barcelona



Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

It’s a top-of-the-table clash as Real Madrid get ready to host Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu for the first El Clasico of the season. Los Blancos will be looking for revenge following the 0-4 embarrassment last season, and have selected the starting lineup best equipped to do that.

There are multiple changes to the team that took on Shakhtar Donetsk in midweek, starting with the left-wing, where Vinicius Jr unsurprisingly gets the nod ahead of Rodrygo. The Brazilian winger was rested in the UCL and will be hyped to go against the best defence in the league.

After missing the previous clash vs Barcelona, Karim Benzema gets to start as the striker for Carlo Ancelotti this time around. Federico Valverde rounds off the lineup on the right side of the attack.

No surprises in midfield as Toni Kroos and Aurelien Tchouameni retain their spot, while Eden Hazard is replaced by Luka Modric.

The biggest key point from Madrid’s defence today is the absence of Thibaut Courtois. The injured Belgian has been replaced by Andriy Lunin in goal.

Ferland Mendy starts as the left-back, while Antonio Rudiger and Nacho have been replaced by first-choice Eder Militao and David Alaba in the heart of the defence, Daniel Carvajal fits in as the final piece of the jigsaw as the right-back.

Confirmed Real Madrid XI: Lunin; Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Mendy; Modric, Tchouameni, Kroos; Valverde, Benzema, Vinicius

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid could be in trouble with RFEF if too many Spanish players leave



It is astounding that despite being the biggest club in Spain, Real Madrid do not have many Spanish players to show for it.

Los Blancos do indeed boast of a special diversity in the dressing room, but their lack of locally trained players could pose problems according to MARCA.

The Spanish outlet confirms that UEFA does not mandate the inclusion of any minimum number of locally grown players for a club. However, the Spanish federation stipulates that a club in Spain must boast of at least eight players who meet a specific set of conditions.

Of the aforementioned eight candidates, there must be at least four players who have spent three seasons or 36 months at the club between the ages of 15 and 21.

Currently, only Nacho Fernandez, Dani Carvajal, Lucas Vazquez, Federico Valverde, Vinicius Jr, Rodrygo and Mariano make up the required number on that front.

The problem, however, arises with the condition for the other four players in the list of eight. RFEF stipulates that the second set of four players must have completed at least 36 months in teams attached to the federation of Spain between the ages of 15 and 21.

Only Jesus Vallejo, Alvaro Odriozola, Marco Asensio and Dani Ceballos tick the aforementioned box. However, all four players have uncertain futures at the club and are well-placed to depart in the summer.

There are thus big decisions to be taken over the transfer strategy for June. Real Madrid can work ways to ship all four players out, it would require the re-integration of players like Sergio Arribas, Miguel Gutierrez or Fran Garcia to ensure the fulfilment of the criteria.

With both Vallejo and Odriozola seemingly frozen out of Ancelotti’s plans, their departures from Santiago Bernabeu appear inevitable. Thus, the management could be forced to renew one of Asensio or Ceballos come June.

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