Toni Kroos and Karim Benzema could be given a rest, paving the way for Fede Valverde and Luka Jovic to start for Real Madrid against Deportivo Alves.
Real Madrid will aim to return to winning ways when they welcome relegation-battlers Deportivo Alaves to the Santiago Bernabeu in La Liga on Saturday night.
Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that he has a fully fit squad at his disposal after a long while. “I have a full squad available and that’s a great sign going into the final stretch of the season,” said Ancelotti in his press conference ahead of the game. “If everyone is ready to play, I have to pick and eleven. The key thing is to have everyone in good shape, then I have the difficult task of picking the best and I try to do that as well as I can.”
But with the business end of the season approaching, Ancelotti could look to use this game against a struggling Alaves side to give a rest to some of his regular starters. No change is expected in goal, though, with Thibaut Courtois likely to feature in the starting XI, while Eder Militao and David Alaba should continue as the two centre-backs.
However, there could be changes in the full-back slots, with both Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy expected to be given a break. Lucas Vazquez and Marcelo are likely to get the nod in place of them on Saturday night.
Toni Kroos, who has been an ever-present in the side, could be given a breather against Alaves. The German international should make way for Federico Valverde. Luka Modric was given a rest in the last league game against Villarreal and should start here in the middle of the park, while Casemiro is likely to hold on to his spot in the lineup with Eduardo Camavinga on the bench yet again.
The attacking unit has not been firing on all cylinders of late, especially with Karim Benzema struggling with an injury. While the Frenchman returned against PSG in midweek, he did not look 100% fit on the night. However, Ancelotti insisted that the striker was in good shape ahead of the clash against Alaves.
“We’re getting back our main striker in Karim, who has scored a lot of goals and set up several too,” Ancelotti said. “He was touch-and-go for PSG but he’s fine now and he’ll help us in this regard.” However, the French superstar could be held back here to avoid the risk of injury, paving the way for Luka Jovic to start as the centre-forward.
Marco Asensio endured a torrid outing against PSG earlier this week and should drop out of the starting XI, making way for Rodrygo Goes. Vinicius Junior should hold on to his spot on the opposite flank, while Eden Hazard and Gareth Bale will be options from the bench.
Real Madrid Predicted XI: Courtois, Vazquez, Militao, Alaba, Marcelo, Modric, Casemiro, Valverde, Rodrygo, Jovic, Vinicius.