Thibaut Courtois will return, but Luka Modric will not feature for Real Madrid against Almeria at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday.
Real Madrid will be eager to return to winning ways when they welcome Almeria to the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday evening. And Carlo Ancelotti has a new injury concern hampering his preparations ahead of his side’s latest fixture.
Luka Modric is the latest absentee after sustaining a thigh injury against Girona this week. The veteran Croat will miss the next few games. In addition, David Alaba and Ferland Mendy remain on the sidelines due to their respective muscle injuries.
Otherwise, Ancelotti has picked a strong squad for Saturday’s game, with Thibaut Courtois, Karim Benzema and Eden Hazard returning. Meanwhile, the Italian tactician spoke about Modric and how he will use his reserves during his pre-match press conference.
Ancelotti said, “Luka had a minor injury in Girona and he won’t available. We’re waiting to see how he evolves and I don’t know if he will make for the cup final. We’ll have to see how he evolves in the next few days. It’s a blow for us, but this is what can happen in football. Let’s hope we have him back for the remaining games, which are important.”
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“Ceballos is the most similar to Modrić in terms of characteristics. We have very good midfielders in Camavinga, Valverde and Tchouameni, and a lot of options to replace Luka. You can’t replace Luka’s experience, but I have top-level midfielders and we’ll make sure we do it right.”
Ceballos should replace the injured Modric in the midfield unit. Meanwhile, Toni Kroos will also drop out of the side to earn some rest. Aurelien Tchouameni should come in for the German playmaker, joining Ceballos and Federico Valverde in the middle of the park.
As for the offensive unit, while Benzema is available, Ancelotti might not risk him, keeping the Manchester City game in mind. So Rodrygo Goes will spearhead the Real Madrid attack against Girona. And VInicius Junior and Marco Asensio should continue as the two wide attackers on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the defensive department should see two changes, with Dani Carvajal and Nacho dropping out. Lucas Vazquez and Eduardo Camavinga should thus start as the two full-backs. And Eder Militao and Antonio Rudiger will form the central defensive partnership, with Courtois returning between the sticks.
Predicted Real Madrid XI: Courtois; Vazquez, Militao, Rudiger, Camavinga; Valverde, Tchouameni, Ceballos; Asensio, Rodrygo, Vinicius Jr.
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