Nacho Fernandez and Luka Modric are set to miss out when Real Madrid play Real Betis at Estadio Benito Villamarin on Saturday.
Real Madrid travel to Estadio Benito Villamarin to play Real Betis on Saturday hoping to get back to winning ways after playing out a 3-3 draw with Levante last weekend.
It is a critical game for the Spanish giants as they look to head into the international break on a positive note and shift their focus towards the remaining days of the transfer market.
While Kylian Mbappe’s name has widely been mentioned, it appears Los Blancos may have to sign a new defender as well, with Nacho Fernandez missing from the squad that faces Real Betis. It is a massive blow for coach Carlo Ancelotti, who may have to make do with Jesus Vallejo at centre-back, alongside Eder Militao.
During the pre-match press conference, Ancelotti offered no insight into the club’s market preparations, stating: “I’m only thinking about preparing the team, giving instructions and managing the players accordingly. I’m only looking at issues on the pitch. Everything else is taken care of by the club”.
On the pitch, there has been one good piece of news in the form of Dani Carvajal. The right-back is fit to start the game, so we are expecting him to replace Lucas Vazquez in the team while new signing David Alaba should continue to feature at left-back, in the absence of both Ferland Mendy and Marcelo.
Things should get more interesting in central midfield with Isco and Marco Asensio vying for a place in the team, in the absence of both Toni Kroos and Luka Modric. Isco remains the favourite, having started in the last game, but Asensio could be brought in around the hour mark as Ancelotti looks to slowly integrate him into the new role.
Isco, therefore, should persist in the advanced midfield role alongside Fede Valverde, with Casemiro occupying the number six position as usual.
Prior to the game, Ancelotti has heaped praise on Vinicius Junior for his performances in the first two matches in La Liga.
“He’s a first team player. He hasn’t started the first two games, but he’s come on and scored two goals. That’s what I want from the players who come on. He’s in great form and I’m assessing him. I love the fact that he’s scored three goals in one hour when he didn’t score too many last season in the league.”, he said when asked about the Brazilian.
And judging by his comments, it won’t be surprising to see Vinicius replacing Gareth Bale at right-wing, forming the crux of the Real Madrid frontline alongside Karim Benzema and Eden Hazard.
Predicted Real Madrid XI: Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Vallejo, Alaba; Valverde, Casemiro, Isco; Vinicius, Benzema, Hazard