The 2023-24 season has been dealing cruel hands to teams around Europe, with players dropping like flies due to extensive injury issues in volumes never seen before.
Real Madrid have been dealing with one of the worst injury spells they have endured in a while – and it seems like the bad news never stops coming.
After losing centre-back Eder Militao and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to serious knee injuries at the beginning of the season, Los Blancos have since seen more of their key squad members succumb to injuries.
The latest of the blows Madrid have suffered have come in the form of serious knee injuries to Eduardo Camavinga and Vinicius Jr while both were on international duties for their respective nations.
As such, Carlo Ancelotti now has the tough task of selecting the cream of the crop from Real Madrid’s youth team to make the all-important step up and fill in the shoes of these two stars who are among the very best in the world in their position.
Enter: Gonzalo Garcia
Earlier today, there were reports that Nico Paz and Mario Martin could enter the fray, with the former already tipped to be a future star for the Merengues.
According to recent reports from Cadena SER, however, another name to especially replace Vini Jr that stands out, is Gonzalo Garcia.
The 19-year-old is a wonderful talent with incredible speed and dribbling ability, with an intensity that is beyond his years.
Madrid fans have also been crying out on social media asking for the Spaniard to be given minutes in the first team.
Last season, Garcia scored 35 goals with the Real Madrid youth team, which ended up winning everything at the national level, and that brought forward a group of players who now shine at Castilla.
And even this season, the winger has already scored six goals and looks like the perfect candidate to start making his mark in the first team.
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