Real Madrid predicted lineup vs Celta Vigo

Real Madrid travel to Galicia to face Celta Vigo at the Abanca-Balaidos in La Liga on Saturday night.

Carlo Ancelotti followed through on his promise of rotation against Almeria last weekend but was made to pay within ten minutes. While Largie Ramazani acrobatically celebrated the hosts’ early opener, Ancelotti scolded his altered centre-back pairing of Antonio Rudiger and Nacho Fernandez like naughty schoolboys.

Madrid were still trailing after an hour before eventually recovering to claim all three points.

Here’s the XI Ancelotti may deploy for a smoother evening in Vigo.

GK: Thibaut Courtois – Coming from a family of volleyball players, there was only one position Courtois could play once he decided football was his sport.

RB: Lucas Vazquez – Like their upcoming hosts, Vazquez hails from Galicia – though he joined Madrid’s youth system as a teenager.

CB: Eder Militao – After watching Rudiger struggle to coordinate a uniform offside trap with Nacho, Militao may avoid sitting out consecutive La Liga matches for the first time since March 2021.

CB: David Alaba – “Take the free kick,” was the instruction Madrid’s assistant coach Davide Ancelotti – Carlo’s son – offered Alaba before sending the centre-back on against Almeria last weekend. He duly obliged.

LB: Ferland Mendy – With Marcelo’s decade and a half at Madrid finally over, Mendy is the only senior left-back in the squad.

CM: Luka Modric – Despite being 45 days older than Wayne Rooney, Modric still has the capacity to completely swing the tide of a top-tier contest – as he proved when he came off the bench at half-time last weekend.

CM: Casemiro – Manchester United’s interest in a player isn’t always a ringing endorsement but they are hardly alone in admiring Casemiro – unfortunately for the Red Devils, Ancelotti is part of that long list.

CM: Aurelien Tchouameni – Swamped at the base of midfield, the Frenchman endured a testing La Liga debut last week – though at least Madrid didn’t lose as Bordeaux did on Tchouameni’s Ligue 1 bow.

RW: Federico Valverde – A player famed for his powerful and persistent sprinting didn’t immediately take to midfield because, as his youth team coach Chueco Perdomo explained: “He just didn’t want to run.”

ST: Karim Benzema – Madrid’s number nine scored five goals against Celta last season and still had time to miss a penalty.

LW: Vinicius Junior – The Brazilian carried the ball into Almeria’s penalty area eight times last Sunday. 18 La Liga teams managed fewer on the opening weekend of the season.


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