COPA DEL REY
Real Madrid’s possible lineup against FC Barcelona in the Copa del Rey semi-final
Ancelotti kept his cards close to his chest, not saying whether Modric and Kroos will play together, or if Camavinga or Tchouameni will in fact start.
“I still don’t know who the starting team is. I choose it every day. I don’t know the starting eleven, really”. Ancelotti did not want to reveal if Camavinga was more of a starter than Tchouameni for El Clásico.
In a new side to the normally open Ancelotti, he was also ambiguous when asked at a press conference if Modric and Kroos would play together.
“We have to take into account where some things are needed. Kroos may not be in the eleven because of his energy levels, but he is could be in because of his personality, courage and experience. Kroos may have more advantage there. Leaving players out at this level makes you think”. Usually crystal clear in his pre-match press conferences, Carletto did not want to give away any clues before facing Barça this week.
The back line is non-negotiable. Ahead of Courtois and without Alaba or Mendy will sit Carvajal, Militao, Rüdiger and Nacho. The boss also had praise for the central pair on the eve of the game: “Rüdiger is always concentrated and focused. He can still improve with the ball, but defensively the team is more solid. Along with Militao, they have solidified the centre of defense”. And as for the full-backs, on a night like this, one imagines there won’t be any trial runs or experiments.
The doubt in the engine room has many different nuances. Camavinga or Tchouameni? Kroos in or Kroos out? There is no debate with Modric, even the possibility of serving a suspension in the next league game against Betis. However, the growing level of Camavinga and the stalling suffered by Tchouameni who, between injuries and recovery periods, has not come back in his best form post-World Cup, has given Ancelotti a headache.
This puts more weight in the balance of Camvinga’s inclusion, allowing Kroos to pair up with Modric as inside midfielders. The classics of the Clásico, once again. And this time with the aim of vindicating themselves after being overrun by the Barcelona midfield in the final of the Spanish Super Cup.
Most probable lineup for El Clásico
As for the attack, there are no unknowns. Rodrygo has miraculously recovered from the muscle tear suffered against Liverpool, but The Lightning Bolt will wait on the bench for his chance. The starting trio will be Valverde, Benzema and Vinicius. “Do we have ‘Vinicius dependency’? It is a positive thing. Vinicius is one of the best players in the world and depending on him is normal”, Carlo acknowledged.
The Brazilian has a tough night ahead of him with Araújo in Barça’s defence, but Vini has electric form behind him. While Fede ‘The Falcon’, already back to his recognisable best, will act as a ‘false winger’ and will be the best support both home and away.