Karim Benzema and Thibaut Courtois should return to the side while Eden Hazard is in line to start when Real Madrid take on Elche CF.
Real Madrid will be aiming to extend their winning run to six games across all competitions when they welcome minnows Elche CF to the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday for a La Liga clash.
Heading into the game, Los Blancos have no fresh injury concerns. However, Carlo Ancelotti confirmed that Dani Carvajal remains unavailable due to COVID-19 while Marco Asensio, Mariano Diaz and Jesus Vallejo are ruled out with muscular injuries. Marcelo, who received a red card in the midweek cup tie, is eligible for selection, while Gareth Bale is also back in the reckoning for the hosts.
“The team is in pretty good shape, we’ve got Asensio, Vallejo and Mariano out with muscular issues and Carvajal remains positive,” the Real Madrid boss said in his presser. “Gareth is improving physically and training with the team every day.”
Real Madrid have welcomed key players Karim Benzema and Thibaut Courtois back into the squad after the pair was rested for the midweek Copa Del Rey clash against the same opposition. The Belgian international is a certainty to start between the sticks, while the backline of Lucas Vazquez, Eder Militao, David Alaba and Ferland Mendy pretty much picks itself.
Moving into the middle of the park, changes are expected as Ancelotti is set to recall star men Luka Modric and Casemiro, who did not start against Elche in the cup tie. The duo ought to replace Federico Valverde and Eduardo Camavinga in the starting XI, while Toni Kroos should hold on to his place in midfield for Real Madrid.
As for the attacking unit, Ancelotti all but confirmed in his pre-match press conference that Eden Hazard could start on Sunday. The Belgian international scored the match-winning goal against Elche in the cup tie and will be hoping to build on that display when he takes the pitch at the Bernabeu. “Tomorrow is a good day to play Hazard from the start and I hope it’s a good game for him,” Ancelotti said.
The 31-year-old is likely to come into the team at the expense of Rodrygo Goes and slot in on the right flank for Real Madrid. There is no looking past the dangerous Vinicius Junior on the opposite wing, who has been in deadly form this season. Spearheading the attack for Los Merengues against Elche will be the returning Benzema, with Luka Jovic dropping to the bench.
Predicted Real Madrid XI: Courtois, Vazquez, Militao, Alaba, Mendy, Modric, Casemiro, Kroos, Hazard, Benzema, Vinicius