Federico Valverde will return to the starting lineup, but Karim Benzema will miss out when Real Madrid and Girona face off at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday.

Real Madrid are currently second in the league table. Arch-rivals Barcelona climbed to the top with a narrow win over Valencia on Saturday, but Los Blancos have a game in hand and the two sides are currently level on points. The game against Girona is a great opportunity for them to return to the top with a three-point gap.

The last time these two sides met at the Santiago Bernabeu, Girona picked up a 2-1 win back in 2019. And Real Madrid cannot afford to underestimate them this time around. The Spanish champions have picked up 10 wins and a draw from 11 league games this season. And they should be able to grind out a comprehensive win in front of their own fans.

Real Madrid vs Girona Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Tactics, Team News & Key Stats

Carlo Ancelotti will be without the services of Karim Benzema because of an injury. Other than that, the Real Madrid manager has a fully fit squad this weekend.

Ancelotti said in his pre-match press conference, “The team is motivated and doing well. We want to put on a good display and get the win. We’re going to have almost everyone back: Modrić, Valverde, Ceballos and Mariano. But not Karim, because we think it’s too soon. We had a slight problem with Rodrygo last night and he hasn’t trained today, but he’ll be available.”

Real Madrid are expected to make a few changes to their side from midweek. Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy are expected to return as the full-backs. Lucas Vazquez and Nacho were quite disappointing against RB Leipzig, and the return of Carvajal and Mendy should improve Real Madrid defensively as well as in the attacking phase of the game.

Eder Militao will start as the centre-back alongside David Alaba. Militao was quite disappointing against RB Leipzig, and this is an opportunity for him to redeem himself. In the midfield, Luka Modric will start alongside Aurelien Tchouameni and Toni Kroos.

In the absence of Benzema, Rodrygo Goes is set to lead the line once again. The Brazilian got on the score sheet against RB Leipzig and will hope for more of the same here. In the wide areas, Vinicius Junior will start on the left after a goalscoring display against RB Leipzig. Meanwhile, Federico Valverde is back from his knock and will start on the right side of the attack.

Predicted Real Madrid XI: Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Mendy; Modric, Tchouameni, Kroos; Valverde, Rodygo, Vinicius

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