David Alaba is an injury doubt, while Federico Valverde is back in contention for Real Madrid as they get set to take on Sevilla in La Liga on Sunday.

Real Madrid will be hoping to increase their lead at the top of the La Liga table when they play hosts to fellow title challengers Sevilla at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Heading into the game, manager Carlo Ancelotti has welcomed midfielder Federico Valverde back into the squad after his spell on the sidelines. However, Eden Hazard, Gareth Bale and Dani Ceballos remain unavailable. In addition, David Alaba is nursing a small knock due to which his involvement has been cast into some doubt.

Providing the latest team news in his pre-match presser, Ancelotti said: “Valverde will be in the squad; he’s trained well. Alaba trained but felt a little bit of discomfort, and we’ll take a look at him tomorrow. If we can see that there’s any sort of risk, he won’t play. It’s not a serious one because the ligament isn’t affected. We’ll have to see tomorrow. We never take any risks with my players. 

“Hazard trained today, but he’s still feeling the effects of the gastroenteritis. Bale has started doing some individual work. Ceballos is making good progress and will be able to work with the rest of the players in the coming days.”

Real Madrid vs Sevilla Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Tactics, Team News & Key Stats

Given that Alaba’s injury is not considered serious and he was able to train on Saturday, he should be included in the starting XI against Sevilla, considering Real Madrid could lose their top spot in the standings if they fail to win. The Austrian ought to pair up alongside Eder Militao at the heart of the defence, guarding Thibaut Courtois in goal. Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy should be the two full-backs.

Ancelotti is likely to go in with his first-choice midfield trio of Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Casemiro for the game, considering the importance of the contest. Valverde and Eduardo Camavinga could get some minutes in the later stages of the match, depending on the situation.

Rodrygo Goes made his return from injury in the midweek clash against Sheriff Tiraspol and impressed heavily. He should hold on to his place on the right flank ahead of Marco Asensio and Lucas Vazquez. Vinicius Junior, meanwhile, has been a permanent fixture on the left-wing this season and has performed admirably, although he was off-colour earlier this week.

Ancelotti was asked if fatigue was the reason for the Brazilian’s ineffective display in Moldova, to which the manager replied: “He didn’t perform to the standard he usually does in the game against Sheriff. I don’t think it’s a case of him being tired. Vini is a player who has to play on the left and he’ll continue to do so regardless of the teammates who are alongside him.”

The 21-year-old should feature from the kickoff on Sunday night for Real Madrid against Sevilla, with Karim Benzema slotting in as the centre-forward.

Real Madrid Predicted XI: Courtois, Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Mendy, Modric, Casemiro, Kroos, Rodrygo, Benzema, Vinicius.

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