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Real Madrid rejected three defenders suggested by Ancelotti for winter, including Man United duo

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Photo by George Wood/Getty Images

Real Madrid are facing a huge test for the second half of their season as David Alaba picked up an ACL injury against Villarreal. The Austrian has been ruled out of the season, and will likely also miss the 2024 European Championship.

Extraordinarily, Alaba is the third Madrid player to tear his ACL this season. Thibaut Courtois was the first, suffering the injury during pre-season, followed by Eder Militao, who went through the same on the first matchday against Athletic Club.

With both their starting centre-backs out, Madrid have Antonio Rudiger and Nacho as first-team CBs in their ranks.

Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that despite that Madrid will not be making a move to sign a centre-back in the winter, and will instead use Aurelien Tchouameni in that position. The Frenchman is already starting in the backline against Mallorca, at the time of writing.

That said, there were reports claiming that Madrid wanted to sign a centre-back in January, and had a fair few options on their radar, including the likes of Goncalo Inacio, Raphael Varane, and their own player Rafa Marin.

Mario Cortegana (h/t The Madrid Zone) has now reported that Ancelotti’s coaching staff proposed some names to the Madrid board that included Victor Lindelof, Varane, and Raul Albiol. The club decided they did not want to pursue any of them, though.

The defensive crisis

With only Nacho and Rudiger available as natural centre-backs in the team, Real Madrid will be hoping that they can make through the rest of the season without any serious injuries in the backline.

Daniel Carvajal has picked up minor knocks this season, while Nacho has already been red-carded twice — once against Girona, and most recently in the 0-1 win against Deportivo Alaves.

Alvaro Carrillo is also an option for Ancelotti, and has been called up for the Mallorca clash, but is expected to remain on the bench for the most part as Tchoumaeni’s services are preferred.

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Real Madrid News

Official: Real Madrid announce starting lineup to face Real Betis

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Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Real Madrid will sign off on their successful La Liga campaign today with a fixture against Real Betis at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The game, being seen as a final preparation for the UEFA Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund, sees manager Carlo Ancelotti field his strongest possible lineup.

All eyes will obviously be on the retiring Toni Kroos, who bids goodbye to the Bernabeu in what will be his final home game as a Real Madrid player.

The German international starts in the centre of the park alongside Federico Valverde, while Eduardo Camavinga slots in as the No. 6.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid captain, Nacho Fernandez, also starts in what could be his last game at the Bernabeu as well.

Nacho pairs up with Antonio Rudiger in defence, flanked by the full-back pairing of Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy. Thibaut Courtois starts in goal ahead of Andriy Lunin and Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Up front, Vinicius Jr. starts in attack, partnering up with Rodrygo Goes. Top scorer Jude Bellingham occupies the attacking midfield role for Real Madrid.

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