Real Madrid team news, possible line-up for Almería LaLiga opener
Real Madrid open up their LaLiga campaign against Almería at Power Horse Stadium on Sunday, and are expected to make changes to the team that began the Super Cup.
After comfortably beating Eintracht Frankfurt to lift the UEFA Super Cup in midweek, Real Madrid begin their LaLiga title defence away to Almería on Sunday, with head coach Carlo Ancelotti announcing after the win in Helsinki that he plans to rotate in Andalusia.
“Those who didn’t play today will get their chance soon,” the Italian said. “I’ll freshen the team up a bit on Sunday.” Chief among the changes expected at Power Horse Stadium is the inclusion of two summer signings, Antonio Rüdiger and Aurélien Tchouaméni, who are in line to make their domestic debuts for Madrid.
Rüdiger to partner Militão at centre-back?
Rüdiger, who has played both as a left and right-back since joining Madrid, seems likely to accompany Éder Militão in the center of defence, given Ancelotti’s comments on the German in his pre-match press conference: “In the first game [in preseason] I played him on the left flank, but usually I’ll field him as a centre-back”. Sunday’s game represents a golden opportunity to test David Alaba as a left-back, another of the alternatives at Ancelotti’s disposal in Madrid’s versatile defence.
With the undroppable Thibaut Courtois in goal for the visitors, Lucas Vázquez is expected to complete Los Blancos’ backline at right-back, given Dani Carvajal has been left out to fully recover from an ankle problem.
Tchouaméni, Valverde alongside Modric
To give Casemiro a rest after his exertions in a man-of-the-match display against Frankfurt, Tchouaméni may well anchor the midfield. Fede Valverde, who plays the highest-profile clashes in a wider role, could return to a more central position, opposite Luka Modric in the three-man engine room. Valverde has claimed that he is at his best in the middle of the park and this is a prime opportunity for Toni Kroos, another who put in a significant shift on Wednesday, to rest for bigger tests to come.
Asensio in line for opportunity in attack
In attack, the muscle issue picked up by Rodrygo Goes opens the door for Marco Asensio to return to the team, offering the Spaniard a chance to prove his worth to the side alongside Karim Benzema and Vinícius Júnior. The Frenchman and the Brazilian did not rotate too much last year and there is little to suggest that Ancelotti will want to do without them in Almería.
Real Madrid’s possible line-up:
Real Madrid’s expected line-up for their LaLiga opener is: Courtois; Vázquez, Militão, Rüdiger, Alaba; Modric, Tchouaméni, Valverde; Asensio, Benzema and Vinícius.
Almería’s possible line-up:
Meanwhile, the Almería XI most likely to be chosen by head coach Rubi for the hosts’ first game back in the Spanish top flight is: Fernando; Pozo, Ely, Babic, Centelles; De la Hoz; Ramazani, Robertone, Samu, Portillo; Sadiq.