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



Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images

Real Madrid will be aiming to register their fifth victory in a row when they lock horns with Girona FC at Estadi Montilivi tonight in La Liga.

After four back-to-back 2-0 wins over Chelsea (x2), Cadiz, and Celta Vigo, Real Madrid are building some crucial momentum ahead of vital fixtures in the Copa del Rey and the UEFA Champions League.

And the aim will be continue doing so with another win tonight against Girona, although Barcelona’s win against Atletico Madrid on Sunday has all but ended the hopes of a late fightback in the La Liga title race.

Furthermore, heading into tonight’s match against the Catalan outfit, Carlo Ancelotti has to deal with several absences as Karim Benzema, Dani Ceballos (suspension), Ferland Mendy, David Alaba, and Eden Hazard are all out while Eduardo Camavinga is also carrying a knock.

Here we take a look at how the Italian tactician could set his team up tonight at Estadi Montilivi as he plots to pick up another victory.


Carlo Ancelotti acknowledged in his pre-match press conference that he might consider rotating his goalkeepers at some point this season in the league.

And with the club confirming just a while ago that Thibaut Courtois is out of the game due to gastroenteritis, Andriy Lunin is set to start against Girona.

With David Alaba unavailable, the centre-back pairing of Eder Militao and Antonio Rudiger is also likely to remain intact. Nacho Fernandez, who started at right-back against Celta Vigo, will move to left-back in the absence of Ferland Mendy, Alaba, and Eduardo Camavinga.

Dani Carvajal should return to the lineup ahead of Lucas Vazquez in the right-back slot.

Carvajal to return at right-back. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Moving into the middle of the park, Camavinga’s knock and Dani Ceballos’ suspension due to accumulation of cards means Ancelotti will have to rely on veteran duo Toni Kroos and Luka Modric after the pair was benched against Celta Vigo on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Aurelien Tchouameni should get another start in the holding midfield role. Federico Valverde, who has been a permanent fixture in the starting XIs, could be given some rest by the manager.

Rodrygo Goes did not train yesterday due to a stomach bug, but Ancelotti has confirmed that he will be ready for tonight’s game. Given that Karim Benzema is unavailable, the Brazilian is likely to slot in as the No. 9 for Real Madrid against Girona.

Flanking the youngster will be compatriot Vinicius Jr on the left side and in-form forward Marco Asensio on the right. They will be key for Real Madrid in their bid to unlock the Girona defence, who secured a clean sheet against Barcelona recently.

Vinicius · Rodrygo · Asensio
Kroos · Tchouameni · Modric
Nacho · Rudiger · Militao · Carvajal


Federico Valverde is bound to come on at some point in the game, possibly to provide some relief to the veteran midfielders and add more energy on the field.

If things are comfortable for the Merengues, Carlo Ancelotti could also throw in youngsters Mario Martin and Sergio Arribas, both of whom have tasted first-team football this season.

Lucas Vazquez will also be an option for Ancelotti either at right-back or in an advanced role, depending on the needs. Jesus Vallejo could also come in to relieve one of Eder Militao or Antonio Rudiger.

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MU Shorts

Five summer transfer operations that Real Madrid are currently working on



With renewed energy, Real Madrid approach the summer transfer window oozing optimism. The air in the Spanish capital is filled with anticipation as Los Blancos prepare to embark on a new chapter — one that promises to bring numerous changes and opportunities.

Following the exits of several high profile names, with the most recent departure of Karim Benzema leaving a gargantuan void in the front-line, Madrid are necessitated to act swiftly in the window. They are reportedly set to prepare for a revolutionary summer.

Currently, Los Blancos maintain emphasis on five operations that hold priority. These are as follows:

Jude Bellingham

The English starboy with the world at his feet continues to be one of football’s hottest commodities. Bellingham has amassed considerable interest from Europe’s top sides, but appears to be closest to striking a deal with Real Madrid.

While the player had no shortage of suitors, his desire to play for the Royal Whites has given Madrid a very realistic chance of obtaining the teenage sensation’s signature.

According to Fabrizio Romano, Real Madrid aspire to complete details of Jude Bellingham’s deal next week. Talks are in the final stages, with add-ons as well as the €100m fixed fee to BVB.

In spite of his high price tag, Bellingham has bedazzled at the tender age of 19, having also won the Bundesliga player of the season. Strengthening the squad with a talent as renowed as him is bound to engender energy in the midfield department next season.

Harry Kane

Karim Benzema’s exit has given rise to several top class strikers being linked with Madrid, but Kane’s name stands out most remarkably. The English forward enjoyed a spectacular season with Tottenham Hotspur, despite the club’s collective shortcomings.

Los Blancos face a whopping price tag of €120 million due to the player’s significance for Spurs, but possess an edge in negotiations, owing to the absence of a direct domestic conflict.

According to Jose Felix Diaz, Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is willing to let Harry Kane leave, as long as his next destination is outside of England.

Kane has established himself as one of the world’s most demanded forwards. Interest from Real Madrid particularly makes sense, with how many stylistic similarities he possesses with Benzema.

The forward is adept at dropping deep and linking plays, while also possesses an incredible eye for goal. Kane ended the Premier League season as the second top scorer, scoring 30.

Kai Havertz

Havertz closing in on Madrid move. (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

The German international appears to already have one foot in the Spanish capital. Havertz has garnered great interest from Perez, who will be tasked with filling a barren front-line, where Rodrygo and Vinicius are the only two forwards remaining at the club.

The 23 year old was signed by a grand figure of €80 million, but failed to live up to expectations. With a difficult period at the English club, Chelsea would not present much resistance if an adequate offer is presented.

However, Chelsea are reportedly demanding Madrid to put a figure of around €60 million to sign Havertz, which by no means is an amount the Merengues throw around lightly.

Still, Havertz has proven to be a talented youngster when the conditions favour him. At Bayer Leverkusen, he soared to incredible heights. The player is also well acquainted with the German players in Madrid’s squad, which will ease the adaptation process.

Alphonso Davies

While Madrid yearn to reconstruct most of their attack, the club have not abandoned the defensive side of the squad and particularly appear interested in bolstering the left-back position, where Davies has emerged as a potential signing.

As Ferland Mendy faces an almost imminent departure or, at the very least, a demotion in the pecking order, Davies looks to be the chosen one to reinforce the area.

The Bayern Munich left-back is one of the world’s most productive full-backs as he has undeniably proven to be one of the Bavarians’ main assets.

According to Spanish outlet MARCA, Madrid have contacted the German side in hopes of sealing a deal. The reported figure is expected to exceed €60-70 million.

Moreover, Alphonso Davies has dual citizenship, Canadian & Liberian and with the Cotonou agreement, he doesn’t take a NON-EU slot in the squad. 


Joselu has been one of the most mentioned links with Madrid ahead of the summer transfer window. As Madrid are willing to especially beef up their attacking depth, the Espanyol man would prove to be a solid buy.

After bidding farewell to Mariano and Asensio, the need for a reliable back-up striker exists in the squad. In such a context, Joselu would aid the depth department.

The Spaniard ended the league season as the third top scorer, securing an impressive 16 goals. Despite Espanyol’s relegation, he looked to be one of the few bright spots in a struggling side.

To successfully reinforce the squad, Real Madrid aim to create a formidable lineup capable of competing at the highest level. They are targeting both established stars and young individuals, believing that a blend of experience and potential will formulate a well-rounded squad.

Following a bucketload of player exits as well as failures in La Liga and Champions League, the club believe a transformative phase is essential to move forward.

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