...By Lola Smith for TDPel Media.
Real Madrid’s Croatian midfielder Luka Modric has only just returned from a hamstring injury, and may not be fit to start in the team’s first-leg match against an unnamed opponent at the Bernabeu.
The midfielder played for eight minutes in Saturday’s Copa del Rey final victory over Osasuna, following a two-game absence due to injury.
If Modric’s performance in that game is deemed insufficient to prove his ability to start in the upcoming match, Aurelien Tchouameni will replace him.
Reserve midfielder Dani Ceballos is definitely out of the game due to a thigh muscle injury, and Ferland Mendy (calf) and Eder Militao (suspended) are also unavailable in defence.
As a result, Eduardo Camavinga is likely to continue at left-back, with Antonio Rudiger coming into the centre of defence.
Despite Carlo Ancelotti’s preference for playing Federico Valverde on the right wing in big matches, Rodrygo’s recent impressive form will likely keep him in the team after scoring a winning brace in the Copa final.
The predicted starting XI for Real Madrid is Courtois in goal, with Carvajal, Rudiger, Alaba, and Camavinga in defence, Valverde, Modric, and Kroos in midfield, and Rodrygo, Benzema, and Vinicius Jr. in attack.
The match will take place on Tuesday, May 9, 2023 at Santiago Bernabeu, and will be broadcast on BT Sport.
The referee for the match is Artur Dias from Portugal.
The Real Madrid squad includes Courtois, Lunin, Lopez, Canizares, Pineiro, Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Vallejo, Nacho, Odriozola, Rüdiger, Mendy, Obrador, Marin, Carrillo, Tobias, Marvel, Kroos, Modric, Camavinga, Valverde, Vazquez, Tchouameni, Ceballos, Martin, Dotor, Arribas, Peter, Aranda, Paz, Hazard, Benzema, Asensio, Vinicius Jr, Rodrygo, Diaz, Bravo, and Rodriguez.
Mendy is currently injured and Militao is suspended.
Real Madrid’s recent success has been partly due to the team’s talented midfield, which includes Luka Modric, a key player for the club.
However, with his recent injury, there is a question mark over his fitness for the upcoming game.
It is understandable that the team may want to take a cautious approach and not risk aggravating his injury by starting him too soon.
Aurelien Tchouameni is a promising young player who may get the chance to prove himself in the absence of Modric.
The team’s defence has also been hit by injuries and suspensions, and this could pose a challenge for the team.
However, Eduardo Camavinga has shown that he is capable of playing in a variety of positions and has impressed in his recent performances.
Antonio Rudiger is also a talented player who can provide stability in the centre of defence.
Carlo Ancelotti’s preference for playing Federico Valverde on the right wing in big matches may be tested, as Rodrygo has been in excellent form recently.
It will be interesting to see whether Ancelotti sticks with his usual strategy or makes a change to accommodate Rodrygo’s form.
Real Madrid has a strong squad with many talented players, but injuries and suspensions can disrupt even the best-laid plans.
The team will need to be adaptable and focused in order to secure a positive result in the upcoming match.