Karim Benzema is ruled out while Rodrygo Goes and Luka Jovic will return when Real Madrid take on Elche on Saturday.
Real Madrid will be hoping to return to winning ways when they lock horns with Elche at Estadio Manuel Martinez Valero on Saturday afternoon. And Carlo Ancelotti has been handed a major blow on the team news front ahead of his side’s latest fixture.
The Real Madrid manager is missing the services of Karim Benzema, who is ruled out due to a foot injury that he has been struggling with for a while and is hence, not a part of the travelling squad to take on Elche. In addition to the French striker, Federico Valverde (knee) and Dani Ceballos (ankle) remain unavailable.
Ancelotti did not provide an update on Benzema during his pre-match press conference, but he did take time to lavish praise on another in-form Real Madrid attacker in Vinicius Jr. In addition, the Real Madrid manager also spoke about Rodrygo Goes and Luka Modric, who have been rotated a fair bit lately.
“He’s [Vinicius Jr.] good. He’s very young and he recovers physically better than some of the others. When he gets any problems or his level drops, we’ll use him off the bench. We’re pleased with him and his performances now and he’ll continue until he needs a rest or his level drops off.”
“Rodrygo doesn’t need to do anything more than he’s done in recent games, with great defensive commitment and real quality up top. He does all we ask of him 100%. I’m very pleased with him, he needs to keep it up. Modrić is okay, he trained yesterday and will do so again today, he’ll play tomorrow no problem. The other day was only taking precautions, it’s just fatigue.”
Rodrygo, in particular, will have a big role to play on Saturday in the absence of Benzema, as he will nee d to provide support to the in-form Vinicius. Filling Benzema’s void through the middle should be Luka Jovic, who will get a rare opportunity to lead the line for Real Madrid.
In the middle of the park, Ancelotti is unlikely to make any changes, keeping one eye on the UEFA Champions League tie with Shakhtar Donetsk in the coming week. So, Modric is likely to be preserved, with Eduardo Camavinga starting alongside Casemiro and Toni Kroos in his stead.
The only other change to the starting lineup will likely come in defence, where Lucas Vazquez ought to replace Dani Carvajal, with his easing-in process continuing. At the heart of the Real Madrid backline, Eder Militao and David Alaba pick themselves while Ferland Mendy is a certainty on the left flank. Finally, in goal, there is no looking past Thibaut Courtois.
Predicted Real Madrid XI: Courtois; Vazquez, Militao, Alaba, Mendy; Camavinga, Casemiro, Kroos; Rodrygo, Jovic, Vinicius Jr.