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Rudiger, Camavinga start in a 4-3-3: How Real Madrid could line up against Man City

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Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid will be looking to book a place in the finals of the UEFA Champions League when they lock horns with Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium later tonight.

The first leg of the semi-final tie between the two heavyweights ended in a 1-1 draw at the Santiago Bernabeu last week, with Vinicius Jr and Kevin De Bruyne scoring two top-notch goals.

Both Real Madrid and Manchester City head into the game tonight with no advantage in terms of the scoreline, although playing at home could give the Premier League champions an edge.

Either way, it promises to be yet another tightly-contested affair between two of the best teams in Europe as a spot in the finals against Inter Milan awaits.

Heading into the game, Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has the full squad at his disposal, and here is how he could set his team up against Manchester City.

Starters

Most of the positions are pretty much locked in for Real Madrid against Manchester City, with Thibaut Courtois lining up as the goalkeeper while Dani Carvajal is a certain starter at right-back.

Things get interesting in the centre-back department, though, with Eder Militao back in contention after missing the first leg due to suspension.

But considering how admirably Antonio Rudiger and David Alaba performed against Erling Haaland & co. last time out, Ancelotti might not tinker with the pairing.

Rudiger vs Haaland: Round Two. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

Eduardo Camavinga should continue at left-back yet again after his masterful display against Bernardo Silva in the first leg last week.

The alternative would be to push Alaba to left-back while pairing Militao and Rudiger in the centre, releasing Camavinga to play in midfield. But it is likely that Ancelotti will stick to what worked so well last time out.

That would essentially mean Toni Kroos will again be deployed in the holding midfield role, with Federico Valverde and Luka Modric occupying the remaining two positions in the middle of the park for the reigning European champions.

As for the attacking line, there had been suggestions that Ancelotti might use Rodrygo Goes as a game-changer off the bench. But the Brazilian is in fine form and should start on the right flank. Karim Benzema and Vinicius Jr will complete the trident for Real Madrid.

Real Madrid Predicted Lineup: Courtois, Carvajal, Rudiger, Alaba, Camavinga, Valverde, Kroos, Modric, Rodrygo, Benzema, Vinicius Jr.

Substitutes

Marco Asensio is pretty much guaranteed to come on off the bench as has been the case for most matches this season. The winger has been in very good form of late and can offer an additional goal threat going forward.

Dani Ceballos will also be an option for Carlo Ancelotti if he wants to add more energy and impetus in midfield.

The Real Madrid boss could also turn to Aurelien Tchouameni if he is looking to tighten things up in the centre of the park. One of Nacho or Eder Militao could be called upon as well so as to release Camavinga into midfield.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Priyanka Roy

    May 17, 2023 at 9:51 am

    Whoever play…. Hala Madrid…. On 10 June at Istanbul we are going to lift the 15th UCL….. Again… Hala Madrid….

    Today we will torn the Citizens all hope for having a treble this season….

    Hala Madrid…..

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MU Shorts

Five alternatives Real Madrid should consider after missing out on Leny Yoro

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Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images

After months of inquiries and negotiations, Real Madrid are on the verge of missing out on the pursuit of Leny Yoro.

The LOSC Lille defender is slated for a trip to England today to complete his medical. He is later expected to sign a new deal at Manchester United until 2029.

Yoro’s likely move to Old Trafford could serve as a massive blow for Real Madrid, as they desperately look for reinforcements at centre-back.

Fortunately, the reigning European champions have an entire summer transfer window ahead of them and there should be no shortage of alternatives available in the market.

Here, at Madrid Universal, we will take a look at five players Real Madrid should target after fumbling the Leny Yoro deal.

Jarrad Branthwaite (Everton)

Jarrad Branthwaite could be an interesting option for Real Madrid. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Earlier in the year, Real Madrid were one of the clubs linked with a move for Jarrad Branthwaite, the Everton centre-back.

The 22-year-old Englishman was an ever-present figure in the Everton backline this past season, featuring in 35 league matches while scoring three goals.

Standing at 1.95m, Branthwaite has made a solid impression in England through his imposing presence at the back.

Branthwaite’s age and height are close to that of Yoro while the defender has also played under Carlo Ancelotti in the past, making him an ideal alternative for the young Frenchman.

Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace)

Marc Guehi excelled at the Euros. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Marc Guehi is another Premier League player Real Madrid have been linked with in the recent past.

Known for his strong physique and ball-playing abilities, Guehi was a prominent fixture in England’s Euro 2024 squad and is regarded as one of the best centre-backs in the Premier League.

Guehi’s qualities, therefore, could prove to be useful for Real Madrid as they look to add more strength to the centre-back department.

William Saliba (Arsenal)

Saliba is one of the best CBs currently. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Premier League defenders appear to be Real Madrid’s best bets when it comes to finding an alternative for Leny Yoro and the next one on the list is William Saliba.

Over the past couple of years, Saliba has been the lynchpin in Mikel Arteta’s defensive system, helping Arsenal emerge as the main threat to Manchester City’s dominance in England.

Saliba’s proficiency with the ball, coupled with his positioning sense make him an ideal long-term defensive bet for Real Madrid.

Goncalo Inacio (Sporting CP)

Inacio has been on Real Madrid’s radar for long. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

The first non-Premier League defender on this list, Goncalo Inacio has been linked with a move to Santiago Bernabeu since the turn of the year.

Although Leny Yoro was preferred to Inacio by the Real Madrid management this summer, recent developments could once again tempt the club to look back at Inacio.

The Sporting CP starlet is regarded as one of Portugal’s finest young defenders and his immense potential makes him a solid target for Real Madrid.

Yann Bisseck (Inter Milan)

Yann Bisseck can be a fine long-term investment. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

Formerly of FC Koln, Yann Bisseck has enjoyed tremendous growth following his move to Inter Milan.

With 16 league appearances for Inter Milan this past season, Bisseck has cemented his place as one of the most promising defenders in Serie A.

Aged just 23, Bisseck is known for his defensive discipline and work ethic. However, what makes him an appealing target for Real Madrid is his valuation.

The German is still in the nascent stages of his development. With Inter Milan signing him for a fee of just €7 million, Bisseck, in fact, could easily be the most cost-effective player on this list.

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