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Valverde starts in a 4-3-3: How Real Madrid could line up against Eintracht Frankfurt

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Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Real Madrid will step up for their fifth UEFA Super Cup final in the last decade when they lock horns against Eintracht Frankfurt tomorrow. Carlo Ancelotti is seeking to win his second Super Cup with Los Blancos, and will stop at no end to achieve that.

Madrid’s Champions League campaign was topsy-turvy, to say the least. They were often thrown into the deep end, but managed to escape unscathed. Eventually, Vinicius Jr’s goal in the final against Liverpool was enough to help them secure their 14th UCL trophy.

Frankfurt are coming off quite a heroic campaign themselves. Tipped against a few favourites of the competition, like Barcelona, West Ham, and Real Betis, Oliver Glasner cruised to the trophy with a superb game plan, and attacking football.

And while Madrid remain, by far and large, the favourites for the tie, Frankfurt have proven to be Goliaths. Ancelotti must prepare accordingly, and the first step towards that is the starting lineup.

Defence

The Italian manager has hinted several times over that the new signings of Aurelien Tchouameni and Antonio Rudiger will not be handed anything on a silver platter despite being important investments.

He has stuck to the lineup that helped him win the Champions League and the big matches in La Liga. Without question that starts with the man who was arguably second only to Karim Benzema for Madrid – Thibaut Courtois.

The Belgian will, we predict, be guarded by a quartet of defenders, led by Eder Militao and David Alaba. Rudiger will probably have to claw his way over one of these two if he wants a shot in the starting XI.

On the right flank, Daniel Carvajal should get the nod ahead of Alvaro Odriozola and Lucas Vazquez, while Ferland Mendy probably takes over responsibility on the left.

Midfield

With French superstars Eduardo Camavinga and Tchouameni knocking on the midfield’s door, Ancelotti might have a hard time deciding who takes the starting spots.

However, depending on his words last week, we can assume Real Madrid’s Bermuda Triangle starts against Frankfurt. This, of course, is in reference to Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, and Casemiro.

No place for Camavinga…yet. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images )

Attack

Karim Benzema has carried on his form from last season into the pre-season, scoring a goal each against Club America and Juventus. He has the chance to lift his first trophy as first-choice Madrid captain, and we highly doubt he’ll let it go to waste.

Much like the Champions League final, Federico Valverde will likely start on the right side of the attacking trio. He assisted the Vinicius’ goal in the UCL final, but more importantly, his relentless pace and pressing will help surpress Frankfurt’s counter-attacks.

The last piece in the puzzle, unsurprisingly, should be Vinicius Jr. The Brazilian has kept himself busy in the pre-season with a ton of interviews, but will be hoping to score another goal in the final tomorrow night.

Vinicius · Benzema · Valverde
Kroos · Casemiro · Modric
Mendy · Alaba · Militao · Carvajal
Courtois

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Tom lubulwa

    August 10, 2022 at 4:39 am

    I thought Antonio Ruduiger could come in for Eder miltao

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Features

Three talking points ahead of Real Madrid vs Osasuna

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Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images

After a two-week hiatus from club football, Real Madrid return to action on Sunday night in a home game against Osasuna. The league leaders have been unstoppable so far this season, and the objective at the Bernabeu will be to keep their fine form going.

Jagoba Arrasate’s side have enjoyed a positive start to the season with four wins in six games so far. The Pamplona-based side sit sixth in the league standings ahead of the likes of Villarreal and Atletico Madrid.

Carlo Ancelotti will make several changes in his starting lineup on the night – some forced and some out of choice. Madrid Universal brings you three talking points ahead of Los Blancos’ weekend clash.

1. Time to kick in the nitros

Real Madrid have been flawless this season and are the only club in the European top-flight to have not dropped a single point. While their start to the season has been nothing short of a fairytale, one wonders how long they can keep the magical streak going.

The month of October brings with it one of the most hectic schedules the club has seen in recent years. Over the next 30 days, Los Blancos play nine games across all competitions. In short, the equation boils down to a game every three days.

To come out on top in all nine games will require a superhuman effort from the Real Madrid players, but one knows well that the squad is capable of it. The team are in a strong headspace, and injecting the right amount of fuel at this point could propel their throttle and see them weather the storm.

A job well begun is half done, and Carlo Ancelotti will hope that his men can make a strong start to the month on Sunday night.

2. Coping without Modric

Godric. (Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images)

The FIFA International break has been cruel to clubs across the globe, with several key players returning injured and facing several weeks on the sidelines. The story for Real Madrid is no different.

Luka Modric played every minute of Croatia’s two friendlies in the last two weeks and even scored a goal in their 3-1 win over Austria. However, he suffered an injury to his hip and faces 8-10 days on the sidelines.

The veteran, at 37 years of age, has arguably been Real Madrid’s best player this season. In eight games, he has scored two goals and provided one assist for Los Blancos and continues to show the world why he is one of the best the game has seen.

Modric is expected to return for the Clasico in two weeks. However, one cannot help but wonder how Ancelotti compensates for such a big void.

It has been reported that the manager sees Dani Ceballos as the ideal man for the job. The 26-year-old impressed when given the start against Mallorca earlier this season, making four key passes and bagging one assist. Now, he could have his moment and a chance to prove his worth to the manager.

In Modric’s absence, Ceballos could start alongside Aurelien Tchouameni and Toni Kroos in the middle of the park. With Eduardo Camavinga quickly climbing up the pecking order, the 26-year-old must make the most of his chance on Sunday to secure a place in the coming games.

3. The return of the gladiator

After a slow start to the season, Karim Benzema bounced back with a brace against Espanyol on Matchday three. Just when it seemed like he had found his stride, however, he suffered a thigh injury and was ruled out for close to three weeks.

While the team found alternate sources of goals in his absence, it was clear that Los Blancos lacked a dominant presence in the box in recent weeks. With Benzema’s recovery close to complete, all eyes will be on him to see if he can find his feet again.

In his pre-match press conference, Ancelotti confirmed that the French international would start on Sunday though it is unlikely that he will play all 90 minutes. Nevertheless, this comes as a big relief to Real Madrid, given that they have no natural replacement for the centre-forward.

The captain will look to make a statement on his return on Sunday and will likely be deployed alongside Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo.

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