Antonio Rudiger should make his La Liga debut when champions Real Madrid lock horns with newly-promoted side UD Almeria at the Power Horse Stadium.
Real Madrid will start the defence of their La Liga crown this Sunday when they face off against newly-promoted club UD Almeria away at the Power Horse Stadium.
Leading up to the game, Real Madrid have been dealt with a fresh injury concern as Rodrygo Goes has been ruled out with muscular discomfort. Along with the Brazilian, Dani Carvajal will also miss out as he is given time off to recover from an ankle issue that has been bothering him since pre-season.
Manager Carlo Ancelotti insisted during his pre-match press conference that he will rotate his squad more frequently than he did last season. “The rotations come as a result of having such a strong squad where everyone is highly motivated. There’s a World Cup coming up and we need a deep squad in good condition. The idea is to rotate more than we did last year. I have a more complete squad.”
So, there might be one or two changes made to the lineup that started in midweek against Eintracht Frankfurt in the UEFA Super Cup. One of the alterations could see new signing Antonio Rudiger make his full debut as a Real Madrid player after making a substitute appearance earlier in the week.
There have been questions about how Ancelotti plans to use him, with reports claiming that the German could be asked to play at left-back. Clarifying the situation, the manager said: “He’s in great shape. He played on the left in the first game, but I usually put him at centre-back. He could end up playing on the left if we have injuries but I plan to use him at centre-back.”
Rudiger should thus start alongside Eder Militao at the heart of the Real Madrid defence, with David Alaba moving out to the left-back position. That would see Ferland Mendy drop out to the bench. Meanwhile, Lucas Vazquez should step in at right-back in the absence of Carvajal while Thibaut Courtois continues in goal.
The likes of Eduardo Camavinga and new signing Aurelien Tchouameni will be pushing for a start in midfield but Ancelotti could stick with the seasoned trio of Luka Modric, Casemiro and Toni Kroos in the centre of the park for the opening match of the season against the newly-promoted side.
Moving into the attacking unit, Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior are nailed-on starters for Real Madrid. Federico Valverde started the last game on the right flank and could keep his spot in the lineup with Rodrygo unavailable. Eden Hazard will remain an option from the bench.
Real Madrid Predicted XI: Courtois, Vazquez, Militao, Rudiger, Alaba, Modric, Casemiro, Kroos, Valverde, Benzema, Vinicius.