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Real Madrid World Cup Spotlight: Tchouameni, Camavinga stand out in defeat

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Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images

The final round of the group stages of the FIFA World Cup 2022 can be described as nothing short of an enthralling film of endless twists and turns. With two games kicking off simultaneously to maintain equality, a team’s qualification often boils downs to the final minute and the last kick.

Wednesday was a day with no shortage of drama as some of the tournament favourites including France and Argentina took to the field in massive games. It saw upsets, and nail-biting finishes as three more teams confirmed their progression to the knockouts.

The day began with the Group D games kicking off early. Denmark faced Australia in a must-win game and dominated the proceedings throughout. Despite having the better chances, they went down by one goal owing to a moment of magic by Mathew Leckie.

France took on Tunisia in a game of little value, yet massive in terms of the result. Didier Deschamps’ men went a goal down in the 58th minute when Wahbi Khazri got the better of Steve Mandanda. Antoine Griezmann scored a dramatic equaliser in the final second of the game only for it to be ruled out by VAR.

Group C then saw its games begin with all four teams in contention for a spot in the next round. Mexico got the better of Saudi Arabia and were within touching distance of the target but fell short on goal difference by a single game.

Both Argentina and Poland qualified in the other game, but it was the Argentines who outclassed their opponents on the night. Lionel Messi’s side walked away with a 2-0 win following a strong performance.

Madrid Universal brings you an overview of the performances of Real Madrid players on Wednesday.

Eduardo Camavinga (vs Tunisia)

Camavinga made his FIFA World Cup debut against Tunisia as the manager opted to make wholesale rotations for the final group stage game. With the top spot almost sealed before kickoff, the team had nothing to lose and Camavinga started at left-back.

Though the French outfit fell to a shocking 1-0 defeat to Tunisia, the Real Madrid youngster dished out a fine performance. He played the entire ninety minutes and was one of the team’s best players.

With six clearances, three interceptions and a whopping 11 tackles, he worked hard at the back and held the fort. Further, he won 16 of his 22 attempted ground duels and 66% of aerial duels. 

While Tunisia did get into spaces behind him at times, there is no doubt that the Real Madrid youngster left a strong impression on Didier Deschamps and will see more playing time in games to come.

Aurelien Tchouameni (vs Tunisia)

Like his compatriot, Tchouameni played the entire 90 minutes and led the French midfield from the front. He recorded north of 100 touches with a pass-completion rate of 96%. He also completed 100% of his long balls and had four defensive actions.

He seemed to be lacking creativity at times as France tried to create chances late in the game. Yet, he was far better than his teammates like Youssouf Fofana and Jordan Veretout who struggled on multiple fronts.

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MU Shorts

Modric, Kroos start in a 4-3-3: How Real Madrid could line up against Atletico Madrid

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Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Real Madrid will battle it out with neighbours Atletico Madrid in the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey on Thursday night at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Having gotten the better of Villarreal in the previous round, Los Blancos will be hoping to produce a solid performance against Diego Simeone’s side so that they can take a step closer towards winning the trophy that they have not won in over eight years.

Heading into the match, Carlo Ancelotti has four players unavailable for selection, with Aurelien Tchouameni, Dani Carvajal, Lucas Vazquez and Eden Hazard missing out.

The good news, though, is that David Alaba is back to full fitness and has been included in the squad list for the Atletico Madrid clash.

Ahead of the much-anticipated derby on Thursday night, Madrid Universal looks to predict how the Merengues could line up against the Colchoneros.

Starters

For the previous cup tie, Ancelotti selected Thibaut Courtois ahead of Andriy Lunin and given the magnitude of Thursday’s match, the Belgian is expected to continue between the sticks.

The manager has already confirmed that David Alaba will be playing tomorrow and the Austrian is likely to slot in as the centre-back alongside Eder Militao, with Antonio Rudiger dropping out.

With no Carvajal and Vazquez, Ancelotti will once again count on Nacho Fernandez at right-back, something he already confirmed in his press conference. Meanwhile, Ferland Mendy will continue occupying the left side of the defensive line.

VALLADOLID, SPAIN - DECEMBER 30: David Alaba of Real Madrid warms up prior to the LaLiga Santander match between Real Valladolid CF and Real Madrid CF at Estadio Municipal Jose Zorrilla on December 30, 2022 in Valladolid, Spain. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)
Alaba returns for Real Madrid (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

Eduardo Camavinga showcased his quality while operating as a defensive midfielder against Athletic Club over the weekend. With Tchouameni still sidelined, it makes sense for the Real Madrid boss to continue with the 20-year-old as the deepest of the three midfielders.

Luka Modric and Toni Kroos were both shock omissions from the league game against Athletic over the weekend. But having given the veterans some rest, Ancelotti will likely recall them for the derby versus Atletico Madrid.

This would lead to Federico Valverde, who was on target in the last meeting vs Atleti, starting on the right flank. Vinicius Jr, who has been under the pump of late, ought to occupy his customary position on the left, with Karim Benzema spearheading the attack.

Vinicius · Benzema · Valverde
Kroos · Camavinga · Modric
Mendy · Alaba · Militao · Nacho
Courtois

Substitutes

Rodrygo Goes has often made a difference for Real Madrid when coming on from the bench and he will be one of the first members on the bench that Ancelotti will turn to on Thursday.

Dani Ceballos will feel unlucky to drop out to the bench given his recent performances but should get some minutes in the second half. Marco Asensio is another player who the Real Madrid manager will call upon in the latter stages of the contest.

Antonio Rudiger could replace Alaba at some point in the second half considering that the latter is just returning from an injury.

Even though Ancelotti has been reluctant to use Castilla players, Sergio Arribas has been called up to the squad and could be given a few minutes, depending on the situation of the game.

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