Real Madrid’s potential starting XI for the LaLiga Santander game vs Real Valladolid
Given the absences of both Mendy and Nacho, Ancelotti has a full-back-shaped headache to contend with.
Real Madrid return to the pitch after the international break and Real Valladolid are next on the list (Sunday 2 April, 10:25 a.m.). It is a match in which Ancelotti’s main mission is to prevent his players from putting their minds on ‘Holy Wednesday’. Barça await them at the Camp Nou and Madrid are 0-1 down from the first leg.
As such, it is understandable that when Carletto goes up against Pacheta’s team, he does so with a certain number of rotations, swapping out the casualties of Mendy and Mariano, as well as Nacho, who will serve a suspension after receiving his fifth yellow card this season against FC Barcelona.
Who will Ancelotti play in defence?
Alaba’s return seems to be the main story of the defensive line. His hamstring issue is history: the defender played 45 minutes with Austria which calmed the nerves of those in Madrid and showed everyone that he is ready for more. His return to LaLiga will be against Valladolid, as he has the biggest chance of filling the gap at left-back.
Given the fact that Madrid are without Nacho, the centre of the defence pretty much writes itself: the Militao-Rüdiger pair has established itself as the new white wall. There is also a chance of rotation on the right: Lucas Vázquez may start ahead of a Carvajal who didn’t have the most positive of times away with the National Team.
Madrid’s midfield question
Another player who will have to grasp every opportunity is Tchouameni, who is losing ground on the in-form Camavinga, who performed brilliantly against Ireland with France. Against Valladolid, Tchouameni is the favourite to act as the number ‘6′, with Camavinga taking the starting position, at least as things stand, in the cup match against Barça in midweek.
It is an ideal game, on paper, for Modric to take a break: he started both games for Croatia, which will allow Ceballos to play. Kroos, for his part, comes back fully rested having retired from the Mannschaft, and will be on the left of the three.
The top end of the line-up will be made up of Benzema, Vinicius, and potentially Rodrygo. Valverde was the last to return from international duty with his national team, and may be rested.
The Uruguayan returned to training in Madrid on Thursday, immediately after having been key in Uruguay’s games against Japan (1-1) and South Korea (1-2). As such, the player who has only missed one match due to rest in 2023, will give up his place for the Brazilian.
Taking all this into account, the possible Real Madrid XI against Valladolid is as follows:
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