El Clasico brings the best out of both Barcelona and Real Madrid, not only in terms of individual performances but also on the tactical front.
It is thus not surprising that Carlo Ancelotti is looking to tactically outclass Xavi Hernandez come Saturday.
Barcelona’s injury crisis in midfield leaves them with few options to choose from. While the Blaugranas still have quality names to deploy, the Italian tactician is looking to crowd the midfield and take control of the fixture.
Earlier this week, it was reported that Ancelotti saw a five-man midfield to be the best dynamic suited.
MARCA now reveal that four midfielders are likely to start on Saturday, although it will come at a price.
A big omission
According to the Spanish outlet, Aurelien Tchouameni will start at the base of the diamond with Toni Kroos and Federico Valverde playing as interiors. Jude Bellingham will round off the midfield at the apex for Real Madrid.
A direct consequence of this dynamic is the benching of Eduardo Camavinga, which appears to be a tactical decision Ancelotti is willing to take.
The Frenchman will start on the bench and could come on as a substitute later in the game.
Alongside him, on the bench, will be Luka Modric who also has no place in the XI on the evening. Yet, the manager sees these to be unavoidable decisions for the big game.
Coming off a strong game
If recent performances are anything to go by, Camavinga would be one of the first names on the manager’s starting lineup.
After all, he is just coming off a sensational display against SC Braga where he ran the defensive midfield.
In 90 minutes on the night, Camavinga completed 97% of his passes, two long balls, a successful dribble, had one shot on target, and recorded a staggering 26 defensive actions.
While he may start on the bench, one can be assured of his participation as an impact player.
Real Madrid summer signing set to return to training soon – report
Real Madrid’s main goal heading into the summer transfer window was to wrap up the signing of Jude Bellingham amid massive interest from Premier League giants such as Liverpool, Manchester City, and Chelsea.
Pep Guardiola’s City, especially, were ready to match and increase any salary Madrid offered, and were going strongly into the bidding war.
Eventually, Bellingham decided to join Madrid after they reached an agreement with Borussia Dortmund for €3 million.
However, following this, los blancos had to improvise a fair bit as Karim Benzema decided to leave the club to join Al-Ittihad on a free transfer. They were expecting him to continue for another season, at least, and it stumped their plans in the market.
In the next few weeks, Madrid chased forwards, and ended up signing Joselu, Brahim Diaz, and a certain Arda Guler, who was close to Barcelona before eventually ending up at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Unfortunately for Madrid, he is yet to play a single minute for the club after picking up a serious injury in pre-season. Despite being on the bench for a couple of games, Guler suffered a relapse in training, and was sidelined again.
Now, reports from Yagiz Sabuncuoglu say that the Turkish international is close to returning to team training.
Guler has slowly, but surely, been recovering from his injury, and could take to the pitch for his first minutes with the club in the next few weeks as Madrid look for solutions after a month full of injuries.
With Vinicius Jr, Eduardo Camavinga, Aurelien Tchouameni, Eder Militao, and Thibaut Courtois all out until early 2024, Madrid have relied on Castilla for reinforcements, but could do with Guler’s services in their forward line.
That said, Carlo Ancelotti and co. are expected to be extremely cautious when it comes to the Turkish international. The slightest spell of poor man-management here could make or break the youngster’s career.