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Real Madrid’s 24-year-old ace to start against Atletico Madrid, key forward to be rested

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Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Real Madrid will square off against neighbours Atletico Madrid in a few hours in the Copa del Rey Round of 16 away at the Civitas Metropolitano.

Heading into the contest on the back of a stunning victory over Barcelona, Real Madrid will be in a buoyant mood and will be keen to secure a spot in the quarterfinal of the cup competition with a win.

As such, Carlo Ancelotti will be looking to field his best possible starting lineup against Atletico, but the Real Madrid boss is likely to make some tweaks to the team that started against Barcelona last week.

Brahim in, Rodrygo out

Now, Edu Aguirre on El Chiringuito is reporting that Ancelotti is set to make a major change in Real Madrid’s attacking unit tonight against Atletico Madrid

As per the update, Ancelotti is set to hand Brahim Diaz a start in attack alongside Vinicius Jr., with Rodrygo Goes set to be rested by the Los Blancos’ boss.

Rodrygo was dealing with some discomfort yesterday and did not train with the rest of the team. But Ancelotti assured in his press conference that everything was okay with the Brazilian forward and named in the squad list as well.

But it appears that the manager is ready to rest the young attacker tonight in a match that has a lot riding on it for Real Madrid.

Taking Rodrygo’s place in the starting lineup would be Brahim Diaz. The 24-year-old has done a solid job over the past couple of months for the Spanish capital club, making the most of his chances during Vinicius’ injury-enforced absence.

In fact, Brahim was even named the Real Madrid Player of the Month for December 2023, owing to his performances in attack, alongside Rodrygo.

Tonight, though, it appears like the former Manchester City starlet will be pairing up with Vinicius and looking to wreak havoc on the Atletico Madrid defence, along with Jude Bellingham.

As for Rodrygo, even though he has been in good form, a rest would be welcome in order to avoid risking any major fitness problems down the line.

Apart from the Brazilian, Ancelotti is also set to bench two other starters against Barcelona, Toni Kroos and Aurelien Tchouameni, with Luka Modric and Eduardo Camavinga expected to take their places in the starting XI.

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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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