Connect with us

MU Shorts

Rodrygo, Ceballos start in a 4-4-2: How Real Madrid could line up against Napoli



Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Real Madrid will be eager to lock down the top spot in Group C of the 2023/24 UEFA Champions League when they host Napoli at the Santiago Bernabeu tomorrow night.

Los Blancos are already through to the knockout stages of the competition, having won each of their four matches so far, and have a five-point lead over second-placed Napoli.

A win or a draw tomorrow would ensure Carlo Ancelotti & co. progress through as the group winners, irrespective of what happens in their final game against Union Berlin next month.

The injury list, though, continues to grow for Real Madrid as Luka Modric has joined the seven other casualties – Vinicius Jr., Eduardo Camavinga, Kepa Arrizabalaga, Aurelien Tchouameni, Arda Guler, Eder Militao, and Thibaut Courtois.

It has forced Ancelotti to dip into the academy reserves and call up young talents like Nico Paz, Mario Martin, Gonzalo Garcia, and Theo Zidane, the son of club Zinedine Zidane.

There will be some changes made to the team that took the field against Cadiz last time out and here’s how Real Madrid could line up against Walter Mazzarri’s Napoli.


With Kepa Arrizabalaga still not ready, Andriy Lunin will once again get a starter in between the sticks for Real Madrid and will be eager to carry forward his good run of form.

Dani Carvajal should continue at right-back ahead of Lucas Vazquez, who will get an opportunity in the coming games with Ancelotti expected to rotate. Ferland Mendy is also expected to retain his place at left-back ahead of Fran Garcia.

David Alaba should return to the starting XI after featuring from the bench against Cadiz. He will pair up with Antonio Rudiger and try to keep the dangerous Victor Osimhen quiet, provided the latter is fit to feature.

David Alaba to return to the side. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

Given the lack of resources in midfield, Ancelotti has no choice but to continue with Toni Kroos at the base of the four-man diamond formation while star man Jude Bellingham, who had tormented Napoli in the reverse fixture, starts at the tip.

Dani Ceballos is all set to make his first start of the season as one of the interior midfielders, replacing the injured Modric. Federico Valverde will be the fourth man in the middle for Real Madrid against the Partenopei.

Up top, there is simply no looking past Rodrygo Goes, who is starting to hit top form in recent weeks. The Brazilian will once again likely be paired up with Joselu in the absence of Vinicius Jr.

Real Madrid Predicted XI: Lunin, Carvajal, Rudiger, Alaba, Mendy, Kroos, Valverde, Ceballos, Bellingham, Joselu, Rodrygo.


Brahim Diaz is back fit after missing the Cadiz game due to illness and he is expected to get some minutes off the bench as Ancelotti would look to give a breather to Rodrygo or Bellingham.

Gonzalo Garcia made his first-team debut for Real Madrid this past weekend and could get his Champions League bow as a late sub against Napoli while fellow academy aces Nico Paz and Mario Martin could also get some minutes in midfield.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

MU Shorts

Tchouameni, Bellingham start in a 4-4-2: How Real Madrid could line up against Bayern Munich



Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid will face their biggest fixture of the season later tonight when they lock horns with Bayern Munich in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League semi-finals.

Having already won the Spanish Super Cup and La Liga, Los Blancos will be eager to take a step closer to lifting the Champions League crown as well.

The first leg, played in Germany, ended in a 2-2 draw leaving the tie nicely balanced as Real Madrid and Bayern Munich battle it out for a spot in the finals, where Borussia Dortmund await.

Heading into tonight’s clash, Real Madrid have only one injury-enforced absentee in the form of David Alaba.

Having made plenty of rotations to the team for the weekend La Liga clash against Cadiz, Carlo Ancelotti will name his strongest possible lineup at the Santiago Bernabeu tonight. And here’s how Real Madrid could take the field against Thomas Tuchel’s men.


Even though Thibaut Courtois is fully fit and made his first appearance of the season this past Saturday, Andriy Lunin has more than earned his spot in the lineup and will start in goal, as confirmed by Carlo Ancelotti yesterday.

Dani Carvajal is back in the squad after missing the first leg through suspension and is certain to replace Lucas Vazquez at right-back tonight against Bayern Munich. Meanwhile, Ferland Mendy will occupy the left side of the defence.

Antonio Rudiger is a certainty to feature at the heart of the defence but Ancelotti has a dilemma as far as the German’s partner is concerned.

But with Eder Militao still not back to his best and Nacho Fernandez not looking all too secure in the first leg, Aurelien Tchouameni could be asked to fill in at centre-back by Ancelotti.

Tchouameni could start at centre-back. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

In that scenario, Eduardo Camavinga becomes an automatic starter at the base of the Real Madrid midfield, where he will partner Toni Kroos, who was one of the Merengues’ best players from the first leg.

In somewhat of a tweaked setup, Ancelotti’s permanent fixture, Federico Valverde will line up on the right side of the midfield four, while Rodrygo Goes is likely to occupy the left flank – a position from where he has been quite effective in recent times.

It would mean that Vinicius Jr. would play in a more central role on the night against Bayern Munich, with fellow key man Jude Bellingham providing the Brazilian superstar support in the attacking line.


Luka Modric is a certainty to come on at some point in the second period for Real Madrid if he does not start against Bayern Munich. The Croatian has showcased good form in recent games and can impact the proceedings.

Brahim Diaz is also someone that Carlo Ancelotti counts on regularly from the bench and that is unlikely to change. Nacho Fernandez could be an option if Real Madrid wish to shut up shop at the back.

On the other hand, Joselu could be an alternative in attack to provide a different kind of threat in and around the Bayern Munich box.

Continue Reading