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Real Madrid have been training with a new formation in recent weeks – report



Photo by Yasser Bakhsh/Getty Images

Following the mid-season break due to the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, Real Madrid did not make the best of starts. After unconvincing wins over Real Valladolid and Cacereno, Los Blancos fell to a defeat to Villarreal.

Following that, they just about managed to win against Valencia in the semi-finals of Copa del Rey via penalties, before being outplayed by Barcelona in the finals.

Since that defeat, however, Real Madrid have been able to mount a recovery of sorts, securing important wins against Villarreal, Athletic Club, and Atletico Madrid.

While there has been improvement, questions are being asked about what is Carlo Ancelotti’s best starting lineup and the tactics of the Italian manager.

Amidst this, AS (h/t Madrid Xtra) is reporting that Real Madrid are training with a 4-2-3-1 formation in recent weeks, with Karim Benzema as the No. 9 and Rodrygo Goes operating in the No. 10 role just behind the French striker.

The manager even alluded to such a possibility in the press conference ahead of the game against Real Sociedad, admitting that Rodrygo would be an ideal option to play in the hole behind the striker in Real Madrid switched to a 4-2-3-1 setup.

“For me, the 4-2-3-1 is a system that I like above all for the defensive aspect. Sometimes Rodrygo has played in attacking midfield, sometimes Asensio and Modric. Rodrygo likes it because it is an ideal position for him and that is why we are thinking about it,” he had said.

With the team said to be working with the formation in training, it will be interesting to see whether Ancelotti decides to utilise it in the game against Real Sociedad later tonight or at a later stage in the season.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid captain Benzema still not 100% fit, suffering from ankle discomfort – report



Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Karim Benzema put in another decrepit display as Real Madrid suffered a 2-1 defeat to FC Barcelona on Sunday night, which all but ended their hopes of defending the La Liga title.

The 35-year-old had sat out of Los Blancos‘ previous La Liga encounter against RCD Espanyol due to ankle discomfort, but returned for the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie versus Liverpool.

While Benzema scored in that game, he hobbled off the pitch with his ankle issue resurfacing. It led to him missing training last Friday, but returned to the squad for El Clasico after participating in training on Saturday.

However, he looked rusty and uninspiring during the defeat on Sunday at Spotify Camp Nou. Now, ABC (h/t Madrid Xtra), is reporting that Benzema is still not near 100% fitness and is struggling with his ankle issue.

It is further claimed that the Real Madrid captain continues to feel discomfort game after game.

Despite this being the situation, Carlo Ancelotti continues to play his ace striker in almost every match.

But the blame must be shared by the club as well, as they did not sign a new centre-forward in the summer or in January when they were aware of the striker’s fitness issues this season.

The Merengues let go of Luka Jovic and Borja Mayoral in the summer and did not sign a replacement, leaving Benzema and the out-of-favour Mariano Diaz as the only options at the manager’s disposal.

Rodrygo did well on occasions when deployed as a No.9, but it evidently clear that Real Madrid cannot go through an entire season relying on a 35-year-old centre-forward.

Alvaro Rodriguez may have emerged as an option of late, but Real Madrid will be repeating the same mistake again if they do not go for a new striker before the next season starts.

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