Carlo Ancelotti will likely name a strong lineup to face Atletico Madrid, with Eder Militao returning to the heart of the Real Madrid defence.
Real Madrid’s objective would be to keep a stronghold at the top of La Liga after Barcelona’s win over Elche on Saturday as they head into the Madrid Derby on Sunday night. Barcelona’s win this weekend has taken the Catalan giants on top, which Carlo Ancelotti’s side can reclaim with a win over Atletico Madrid.
Karim Benzema remains out of action for this crucial clash, but Ancelotti has Eder Militao returning to the travelling squad. The Brazilian international could be the only significant change at this time, as currently, Ancelotti’s starting lineup picks itself based on the form they are in.
Militao had missed the last two matches with a fitness issue but has been training all week, and Ancelotti confirmed the Brazilian defender is available for selection during his pre-match press conference.
Ancelotti said, “He’s ready to play because he has trained well. He may well start the game or come on for part of it. That’s a question mark in my mind. I’ve got to think it through properly.”
If Militao comes back into the equation, Antonio Rudiger will likely make way for the Brazilian at the heart of the Real Madrid defence. The rest of the backline, consisting of David Alaba, Dani Carvajal, and Ferland Mendy, looks familiar, with Thibaut Courtois firmly settled in goal behind them.
Aurelien Tchouameni will hold the midfield together, with Luka Modric and Toni Kroos operating on either side of the Frenchman. Dani Ceballos will be an option from the bench, despite his top-level performances in recent games.
Vinicius Junior will take up the mantle of the de-facto leader of the Real Madrid attack in Benzema’s absence, and the Brazilian will operate from the left side. Federico Valverde will take his place from the right flank, while Rodrygo Goes is expected to lead the line against Atletico Madrid in a false nine role in the absence of Benzema.
Predicted Real Madrid XI: Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Mendy; Modric, Tchouameni, Kroos; Valversde, Rodrygo, Vinicius