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Real Madrid possible starting lineup vs Valladolid in LaLiga

Modric, Tchouaméni and Camavinga will not return until the eve of Real Madrid’s return to La Liga action.

Ancelotti, en un entrenamiento en el Real Madrid.

Luka Modric, Aurélien Tchouaméni and Eduardo Camavinga were initially expected to return to Real Madrid training on 28 December, but Carlo Ancelotti will have to wait until the eve of the match against Real Valladolid to welcome them back. AS understands the trio will not travel to Valladolid for the LaLiga fixture on Friday. Ancelotti will also be without forward Mariano, who injured his right ankle last Friday.

Modric played his last match on 17 December and came away from the World Cup with a bronze medal after beating surprise package Morocco in the third-place play-off. The French pair were involved in the World Cup final just a day later, in their penalty shootout defeat to Argentina. Modric has gone to the Maldives for a break, while Tchouaméni opted for Los Angeles, where he was spotted with Barcelona defender Jules Koundé, and Camavinga chose somewhere closer to home.

Ancelotti has had practically a month (training resumed on 1 December) to prepare for the second half of the season, with Valladolid as the first test. The World Cup players have gradually returned and, in the absence of Modric, Camavinga, Tchouameni and Mariano, he will be able to use the rest of the squad to put together a full squad. Brazilian trio Militao, Rodrygo and Vinícius returned to Valdebebas on Monday and, despite having only completed four training sessions before facing Pacheta and his men, they are likely to be part of the matchday squad that Ancelotti will name after Thursday’s morning session.

Real Madrid’s possible XI vs Valladolid

Thibaut Courtois will play between the sticks, with Dani Carvajal, Antonio Rüdiger, David Alaba and Ferland Mendy completing the backline. The midfield could consist of Toni Kroos in front of the back four in the absence of Tchouaméni. Fede Valverde will return to the fold and Dani Ceballos could also start as part of a midfield three. Up front, Karim Benzema could be joined by Marco Asensio on the right and Vinícius on the left.