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



Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid will be hoping to cut down the gap to league leaders Barcelona to two points when they face RCD Mallorca at Son Moix on Sunday afternoon.

Los Blancos enjoy a superior record against Javier Aguirre’s side, but have had missteps of late. Meanwhile, Mallorca have won three of their last four matches at home and will pose a stern test to Carlo Ancelotti’s men.

Things will be made even more complicated for the reigning Spanish champions as they will have to make do without club captain and ace goalscorer Karim Benzema. Eder Militao, who had been in top form recently, is also out with an injury, as are Ferland Mendy and Eden Hazard.

It will be an important match for the Merengues if they wish to keep up the pressure on their rivals Barcelona. Ahead of this encounter, Madrid Universal takes a look at how Ancelotti might set his team up on Sunday afternoon.


There is just no looking past Thibaut Courtois in goal for Real Madrid. The Belgian has been a consistent and key performer for the champions and will again be crucial if they are to return with three points from Mallorca.

Dani Carvajal made his return from injury in the midweek win against Valencia, coming on from the bench. While David Alaba is back and available, Ancelotti could avoid risking him against Mallorca so that he is fit for the FIFA Club World Cup next week.

As such Antonio Rudiger and Nacho Fernandez should form the centre-back pairing for Los Blancos, whereas Eduardo Camavinga should continue in the makeshift left-back role that he has essayed in the past couple of matches.

Back in action. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Moving into the middle of the park, Ancelotti will likely look to reintroduce Aurelien Tchouameni into the starting XI after the midfielder made his return from injury against Valencia.

The 23-year-old Frenchman will slot in as the No. 6 while in-form star Dani Ceballos and Luka Modric could occupy the remaining two spots in midfield. Toni Kroos, who picked up a knock in the previous match, will likely be protected for the Club World Cup.

Benzema’s absence means Rodrygo Goes becomes the obvious choice to line up as the No. 9 against Mallorca. Meanwhile, Vinicius Jr and Marco Asensio, who were the goalscorers for Real Madrid against Valencia, should continue occupying the flanks.

Vinicius · Rodrygo · Asensio
Ceballos · Tchouameni · Modric
Camavinga · Nacho · Rudiger · Carvajal


Federico Valverde will be an option from the bench for Ancelotti to tweak the attack, given that there are no other natural forwards in the squad for tomorrow’s game, apart from the out-of-favour Mariano Diaz.

David Alaba will likely receive some minutes off the bench so that he gets some action under his belt heading into the FIFA Club World Cup. The same should hold for Toni Kroos, who has recovered from the knock he sustained against Valencia.

Jesus Vallejo or Alvaro Odriozola might get a few minutes in case Real Madrid are in the lead and Ancelotti is looking to shut up shop.

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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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