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Real Madrid superstar withdrawn from starting lineup vs Atletico after warm-up injury



Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images

Just as Real Madrid were ready to step onto the pitch at the Santiago Bernabeu to face Atletico Madrid, they were dealt with a fresh fitness setback.

Superstar Vinicius Jr. was withdrawn from the starting lineup that was initially announced by the club, with the Brazilian forward getting replaced by Brahim Diaz.

Vinicius, 23, has already had a couple of injury problems during this season and has had missed a chunk of matches as a result.

Everything appeared fine with the attacker until 10-15 minutes before kickoff when he left the warm-up a little earlier than his teammates.

The Real Madrid Public Address system at the stadium mentioned him as a starter even after that, but soon after it emerged that Brahim had taken his place in the lineup, with the club confirming the same via their official account on X.

Reporting on the matter, Mario Cortegana stated that Vinicius’ withdrawal came due to a cervical problem he picked up during the warm-up.

The journalist mentions that the Real Madrid forward’s removal from the lineup was a last-minute call by Carlo Ancelotti. For now, Vinicius remains on the bench and his involvement in the second half would depend on whether the medications work or not.

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Real Madrid News

Ancelotti considering playing a makeshift centre-back pairing for Real Madrid against Valencia – report



Photo by DESIREE MARTIN/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid will take on Valencia on Saturday, looking to maintain their solid lead at the top of the league table.

The Spanish giants are leading the standing with a six-point lead over Girona. A win against Valencia could help them solidify their position at the top while potentially opening up an opportunity to extend the lead to more than six points.

Heading into this game, though, Carlo Ancelotti is facing multiple setbacks, especially in the defensive unit, with Eder Militao, David Alaba and Thibaut Courtois still missing due to injuries.

This will once again put pressure on Ancelotti, as far as the team selection is concerned.

Rudiger & Tchouameni to partner at centre-back vs Valencia

Fortunately for the Real Madrid coach, much of his experimentations this season have worked, including Aurelien Tchouameni’s supreme performances at centre-back.

With that in mind, Diario AS reports Ancelotti is considering playing a makeshift central defensive pair against Valencia, comprising Antonio Rudiger and Tchouameni.

Ancelotti to go with a makeshift central defensive pairing vs Valencia (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

This is not the first time the young Frenchman will have to accompany Rudiger at centre-back. He did so earlier in the year when Real Madrid took on RCD Mallorca.

Interestingly, Real Madrid were able to retain a clean sheet, with Rudiger scoring the winning goal, in a narrow 1-0 victory.

What are Ancelotti’s other options?

Ancelotti will be hoping for a similar outcome this time around. However, it must be noted that the Italian will be boosted by the return of Dani Carvajal from suspension.

The veteran Spaniard can be an option at centre-back. But given the way how Tchouameni has impressed onlookers with his performances at centre-back, there is very little reason why he shouldn’t continue in the position.

Tchouameni has even been compared to Javier Mascherano by former Spanish coach Roberto Moreno.

Other than Carvajal, though, Nacho Fernandez is another option for Ancelotti. But the veteran defender is suffering with discomfort and Ancelotti has no plans to risk it.

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