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Real Madrid World Cup Spotlight: Tchouameni solid as France advance to the quarter-finals



Photo by ODD ANDERSEN/AFP via Getty Images

The first two teams to book their slots in the FIFA World Cup were Argentina and The Netherlands as they got the better of Australia and the United States respectively. France were in action if the second day of the Round of 16 to book their place in the next round and did so with an explosive win against Poland.

Didier Deschamps’ side showed the world their ruthless attack last night and made a strong case for defending their title for the second successive edition. 

Oliver Giroud opened the scoring for Les Bleus and in the process, became France’s all-time highest international goalscorer. The second goal came off a quick and accurate counter-attack via Kylian Mbappe before the PSG star added a third in extra time. Poland’s only consolation came off a Robert Lewandowski penalty late into stoppage time.

Meanwhile, England took on Senegal in the late-night encounter and put their name in the quarterfinal against France later this week. Jordan Henderson, Bukayo Saka and Harry Kane were on point for the Englishmen, but it was young Jude Bellingham that pulled the string from the midfield.

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

Aurelien Tchouameni (France vs Poland)

The absences of Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante opened the doors for Aurelien Tchouameni to work his magic for the French National Team, and the youngster is not disappointing. While his performance against Poland in the Round of 16 was not at his frightening best, he dished out a solid display with few mistakes and plenty of positives.

On a night when Mbappe and Giroud stole the headlines, the Real Madrid ace did the hard work behind the scenes. His firm shot on goal in the first half was enough to test but not beat Wojciech Szczesny. He also gave a perfectly weighted ball over the top for Antoine Griezmann that threatened to open the scoring for Les Bleus

Poland tried to put pressure on France in the second half, stringing together passes and winning the ball back with urgency. However, Tchouameni helped restrict the Polish attack with his quick presence of mind time and time again and ensured that their pressure did not translate to opportunities.

The Real Madrid starlet was controversially booked in the first half for a rather soft foul but carried on for over sixty minutes with careful, yet uncompromised quality of play.

He made one interception, won three duels and made one key pass against Poland. Further, he completed 65 passes and recorded a completion rate of around 90%. Eventually, Deschamps decided to take off the midfielder in the 66th minute out of caution as he was already on a yellow card.

Eduardo Camavinga (France vs Poland)

The youngster was given a chance in France’s final group-stage game against Tunisia and made a decent impression despite playing as a makeshift left-back. However, given the stakes of the tournament and that every game is a knockout here on, Deschamps opted to keep the Real Madrid man on the bench against Poland.

It will be difficult for Camavinga to see minutes from here on given the situation. No doubt, the experience with the National Team will go a long way in nurturing his development ahead of what could be a long and successful career in the International setup.

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MU Shorts

Benzema, Camavinga start in a 4-3-3: How Real Madrid could line up against Liverpool



Photo by THOMAS COEX/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid will look to secure their place in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League when they take on Premier League bigwigs Liverpool in the second leg of their Round of 16 encounter tonight.

The Merengues are already in a solid position thanks to their 5-2 comeback victory in the first leg at Anfield, led by brilliant performances from Vinicius Jr and Karim Benzema.

But the job is far from done as the Reds are perfectly capable of mounting a strong comeback, having done so in the past against Barcelona only a few years ago. The recent 7-0 thrashing of Manchester United also showed the capabilities of Jurgen Klopp’s men.

So, Carlo Ancelotti & co. will need to be professional and get the job done while guarding against any sort of complacency. The manager has a near-full squad at his disposal, with David Alaba the only player missing with an injury.

With the game set to kick off at the Santiago Bernabeu later tonight, Madrid Universal takes a look at how Los Blancos could line up against Liverpool.


Thibaut Courtois is a certain starter in goal for Real Madrid and will look to keep a clean sheet this time out after letting in two goals at Anfield in the reverse fixture.

The Belgian international will likely be shielded by the centre-back pairing of Eder Militao, who was in fine nick against Espanyol over the weekend, and Antonio Rudiger.

Dani Carvajal is a guaranteed starter at right-back, while Nacho Fernandez is set to get the nod on the left side after his solid performance after coming on as a substitute at Anfield. Ferland Mendy is back in the squad, but is unlikely to be thrust into the spotlight right away.

Moving into the middle of the park, Carlo Ancelotti has always banked on the experience of Luka Modric and Toni Kroos for the big games, and that will not change tonight against Liverpool at the Bernabeu.

Ancelotti’s trusted lieutenants. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

The defensive midfield slot is up for grabs with neither Aurelien Tchouameni nor Eduardo Camavinga impressing against Espanyol. But, Camavinga has been in a much better nick in recent times than his compatriot and should get the nod.

As for the attacking trident, captain Karim Benzema is back in the squad after sitting out against Espanyol with an ankle issue. He is certain to start as the centre-forward while Vinicius Jr is a certainty on the left flank.

On the right, the likes of Rodrygo Goes, Marco Asensio and Federico Valverde are all options for Ancelotti, but it is the latter who is likely to get the nod tonight.

Real Madrid Predicted XI: Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Rudiger, Nacho; Modric, Camavinga, Kroos; Valverde, Benzema, Vinicius.


Rodrygo Goes has often made a big impact coming off the bench, especially in the big games and is certain to get minutes at some stage against Liverpool. Marco Asensio is another player who can provide goals from the bench and can be an asset.

Alternatively, if Carlo Ancelotti is looking to shore things up in midfield, the energy of Dani Ceballos might come in handy while Aurelien Tchouameni would also be in contention.

Youngster Alvaro Rodriguez has been making quite an impression of late and could get some minutes under his belt as well.

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