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Real Madrid possible XI vs. Valencia: Ceballos or Valverde?

Real Madrid face Valencia at the Santiago Bernabeu in the postponed game due to Spanish Super Cup involvement.

Dani Ceballos

The good news for Real Madrid sees both Tchouameni and Carvajal return to the squad after overcoming their respective muscular problems, although neither player are expected to start Thursday’s game. Valencia are the visitors to the Santiago Bernabeu in the rescheduled game due to the Spanish Super Cup. The bad news for Ancelotti is the absence of defenders Alaba and Ferland Mendy as the club is about to embark on an intense month of February with games coming thick and fast.

For Thursday’s clash, Nacho is expected to start at right back with Camavinga will once again deputise as an emergency ‘3′ role. Mendy’s injury has forced the former Rennes player to this position and in both games against Atleti (Copa del Rey) and Real Sociedad in the league, the French international has done an admirable job. “It’s not my position”, the player admitted but he understands that “he’s here to help the team wherever he is”. Against Valencia, everything points to him repeating a defensive role along with Militao and Rüdiger.

 Eduardo Camavinga, player of Real Madrid
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Eduardo Camavinga, player of Real MadridHelios de la RubiaGetty

The central area is one where Ancelotti has his doubts. Without Tchouameni and Camavinga, Kroos looks set to play the role of anchorman once again with Modric poised to make a return to the starting XI after coming on from the bench in the last game against the Txuri-urdin. The biggest question mark facing Ancelotti is the third player in the heart of the midfield. In-form Dani Ceballos or Fede Valverde who is slowly showing glimpses of his sparkling early season form are the candidates.

A changing formation

After his wonder-goal against Atletico in the cup, Rodrygo will likely start again with the presence of either Ceballos or Valverde potentially altering the formation. Ceballos would suggest a 4-3-3 or Ancelotti could opt for a 4-2-3-1 with Fede, which would give a new opportunity to Rodrygo to test himself as a playmaker. Vinicius will marshall the left flank with Benzema as the spearhead of the attack.

Real Madrid: possible XI vs Valencia:

Courtois; Nacho, Militao, Rüdiger, Camavinga; Ceballos/Valverde, Kroos, Modric; Rodrygo, Benzema and Vinicius

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