Luka Modric and Casemiro are set to return but Eden Hazard will remain on the bench when Real Madrid take on Villarreal in La Liga on Saturday.
Real Madrid will be aiming to consolidate their position at the top of the 2021/22 La Liga standings when they welcome Villarreal to the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday night.
Leading up to the game, manager Carlo Ancelotti has not been dealt with any fresh injury concerns. However, Real Madrid will continue to deal with the absence of several key first-team stars like Marcelo, Ferland Mendy, Dani Carvajal, Toni Kroos while Gareth Bale and Dani Ceballos also remain unavailable for selection.
Having made a few changes to the side that thumped RCD Mallorca 6-1 in midweek, Ancelotti is expected to revert some of those changes for Saturday’s encounter. Thibaut Courtois ought to continue in goal for Real Madrid while the centre-back pairing of Eder Militao and David Alaba is expected to be kept intact as the duo is starting to click.
Nacho has been a regular fixture in the starting XI since the season started and could be given a rest, with Lucas Vazquez filling in for him at right-back while youngster Miguel Gutierrez continues at left-back after yet another impressive display in midweek against Mallorca.
There are expected to be a couple of changes in the middle of the park as well, with veteran stars Luka Modric and Casemiro in line to return to the side after being rested against Mallorca. Marco Asensio, who scored a stunning hat-trick in the win against his boyhood club, should hold on to his spot after being praised by manager Ancelotti in his pre-match presser.
“He was important for us before the last game, even though he hadn’t played much. He did really well against Mallorca. He showed his quality and ability to play for the team in a different position. He’s a really important player for us,” the Italian said. With Asensio’s potential retention in the side, it will be Federico Valverde and Eduardo Camavinga who will make way for Modric and Casemiro on Saturday.
Moving into the final third, Eden Hazard would be hoping for a start after being benched in the previous game against Mallorca. When quizzed about his fitness and general situation, Ancelotti said: “The most important thing is that Hazard is training well and has no injury problems.
“He recovered well after the Valencia game. I can’t guarantee he’ll play every game, even if he’s 100% fit, in the same way for any other player in the squad. The most important thing is that he’s ok.” While he is seemingly fit, Rodrygo Goes’ performance in midweek warrants a starting berth again on the right flank. Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior, meanwhile, are certain to feature in the remaining two slots in attack.
Real Madrid Predicted XI: Courtois, Vazquez, Militao, Alaba, Gutierrez, Asensio, Casemiro, Modric, Rodrygo, Benzema, Vinicius.