Tchouameni, Nacho start in a 4-3-3: How Real Madrid could line up against Villarreal
Real Madrid will look to make it three wins in a row across all competitions when they lock horns with Villarreal at the Santiago Bernabeu tonight in La Liga.
After the international break, Real Madrid have been in rampant form as they first dispatched Real Valladolid 6-0 in La Liga before thrashing arch-rivals Barcelona 4-0 in the Copa del Rey semi-finals.
The reigning champions of Spain and Europe will be keen on carrying the momentum forward especially with a vital UEFA Champions League quarter-final clash against Chelsea coming up next week.
Villarreal, however, have been a tough nut to crack for Los Blancos in recent times. And Carlo Ancelotti will be hoping that his troops are able to get over the line at the Bernabeu tonight and reduce the gap to the top to nine points.
Ahead of the game, we at Madrid Universal take a look at how the manager could set his team up against Quique Setien’s side.
Thibaut Courtois is a certainty in goal for Real Madrid but Ancelotti could likely make some changes in the side keeping an eye on the next game against Chelsea.
To that end, Lucas Vazquez should come into the team at right-back ahead of Dani Carvajal while Antonio Rudiger is in line to start in place of David Alaba, who has recently returned from injury.
Eder Militao should keep hold of his place, while Nacho Fernandez comes in at left-back at the expense of Eduardo Camavinga, who has grown into an extremely vital member of the team. Ferland Mendy remains the only injury-enforced absentee.
Moving into the middle of the park, Aurelien Tchouameni should get the nod as the pivot midfielder as he looks to reclaim his regular spot in the starting XI. Toni Kroos and Luka Modric are likely to be given a breather as well, with Dani Ceballos and Federico Valverde filling up the midfield slots.
Karim Benzema has scored two hat-tricks in two games after the international break and is a certainty to slot in as the No. 9. Vinicius Jr is another guaranteed starter for Real Madrid as they look to take down Villarreal and reduce the gap to Barcelona to nine points.
On the right wing, there could be a change as Marco Asensio could come into the lineup in place of Rodrygo Goes, even though the coaching staff are admitting that it is getting incredibly hard to bench the Brazilian youngster after his impressive performances.
Vinicius · Benzema · Asensio
Ceballos · Tchouameni · Valverde
Nacho · Rudiger · Militao · Vazquez
Eduardo Camavinga should come on at some point in the second half, irrespective of the match situation. Ancelotti could also turn to Luka Modric and Rodrygo if things are not going according to plans for Real Madrid on the night.
David Alaba could replace Rudiger around the hour-mark or so, given that the German international is also recently returning from injury. There may well be some minutes in store for out-of-favour star Eden Hazard if the game is in the bag.
Alvaro, Tchouameni start in a 4-3-3: How Real Madrid could line up against Sevilla
After returning to winning ways against Rayo Vallecano, Real Madrid will be aiming to build on it and collect three more points when they face Sevilla in the penultimate matchweek of the 2022/23 La Liga campaign tonight.
Thanks to the victory over Rayo coupled with Atletico Madrid’s slip-up against Espanyol, Carlo Ancelotti’s men were able to reclaim the second spot in the table and must now fight to keep hold of it in the remaining two matches of the season.
A trip to Sevilla, though, can be a tricky prospect, especially with the team hit by injuries and going with a depleted attacking unit.
Indeed, Real Madrid will be without Karim Benzema, Marco Asensio, and Vinicius Jr tonight against Los Nervionenses due to injuries. Ancelotti thus has only three natural forwards at his disposal for the game at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
With that in mind, here is how Ancelotti could set his Real Madrid team up against Jose Luis Mendilibar’s Sevilla side tonight.
Thibaut Courtois is a guaranteed starter in goal for Real Madrid. The Belgian has always stood up for the team in important matches and will need to do so against Sevilla tonight.
Dani Carvajal has been ruled out of the contest due to suspension, which should pave the way for Lucas Vazquez to get the nod at right-back. Eder Militao should return at centre-back after not starting against Rayo, with the Brazilian partnering Antonio Rudiger
Ferland Mendy will likely get the nod at left-back as he fights for his future at Real Madrid in the final few games of the campaign.
Having fallen behind Eduardo Camavinga and Toni Kroos in the pecking order, Aurelien Tchouameni will have a point to prove as he looks likely to start for Real Madrid in the holding midfield role tonight.
Both Kroos and Luka Modric started in midweek against Rayo and could thus be given a breather tonight, with Dani Ceballos and Camavinga occupying the remaining two midfield slots for the Merengues.
Moving into the attacking unit, manager Carlo Ancelotti is running short on options. As such, Federico Valverde should start out on the right flank against Sevilla.
Meanwhile, even though Eden Hazard is an option, Rodrygo Goes, who scored the winner against Rayo Vallecano, should get the nod on the left wing in the absence of his compatriot Vinicius Jr.
It should pave the way for youngster Alvaro Rodriguez to start in the No. 9 role for Real Madrid against Sevilla, with Karim Benzema unavailable.
Real Madrid Predicted XI: Courtois, Vazquez, Militao, Rudiger, Mendy, Ceballos, Tchouameni, Camavinga, Valverde, Alvaro Rodriguez, Rodrygo.
Given the lack of options, Eden Hazard is certain to make an appearance at some point in the game against Sevilla. The likes of Luka Modric and Toni Kroos may also be called upon if things are not going Real Madrid’s way on the night.
Depending on the game situation, Carlo Ancelotti could turn to Nacho or David Alaba if he is looking to shut up shop.