We are back! After a summer full of transfer rumors, the Euro and the Olympics, Real Madrid are now back in action in La Liga as they take on Alaves for their first match of the season, which will also be Carlo Ancelotti’s first official game in charge since returning to the club. There are a lot of questions to be asked, but in the end, all that matters is what is done on the pitch as Los Merengues start with a game that they should win.
Real Madrid played a few preseason games – only two of them being ‘official’ with Andriy Lunin being the starter in the majority of the matches. Thibaut Courtois started in the last game against AC Milan and is expected to begin the season as a starter once again, ahead of the young Ukrainian goalkeeper.
We wouldn’t be Real Madrid without our fair share of injuries as Dani Carvajal and Alvaro Odriozola are both expected to miss the opening game of the season. Therefore, we’re back to seeing Lucas Vazquez take his place at right-back and he’s expected to impress just like he has many times last season.
In the center, we should be prepared to see what could be our new starting partnership after Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane both left the club in the summer. Eder Militao will have to step up and continue the form that we have seen from him during the closing months of the campaign.
David Alaba will be expected to make his official debut for the club after arriving on a free transfer during the summer. On the left, our captain Marcelo will be starting as Ferland Mendy continues to recover from an injury that he has been suffering from over the past few months.
Miguel Gutierrez could be poised for a surprise start but all signs point towards the Brazilian being chosen in his first official match as the captain of Real Madrid.
It doesn’t matter who the manager is, Carlos Casemiro is always expected to start. He hasn’t had too much time with the team since joining preseason but he should be caught up enough to start the game on Saturday night.
In front of him, the legendary Luka Modric will take his place alongside Isco, who replaces the injured Toni Kroos. The Spaniard will have a lot to do if he wants to show that he truly deserves a place in the lineup. Martin Odegaard is another great option but with the recent rumors about him possibly wanting to leave, along with reports of him not being registered yet, makes it doubtful that Ancelotti will want to use him until everything is sorted out.
Things could get a little interesting here as Eden Hazard will need a little time before he’s fit enough to start a game while Marco Asensio has just finished taking part in the Olympics – so who could Ancelotti start with?
Most signs seem to point to Rodrygo Goes and Vinicius Junior. Rodrygo has impressed a lot over the preseason and it looks like he has found his way into Ancelotti’s good side while Vinicius has a lot to offer but will need to show improvement very soon.
Up front, there could be a risk to take as Karim Benzema recently returned to the team after taking part in the EURO and then having to recover from COVID-19. Could Luka Jovic get a rare chance to show what he’s capable of? The Serbian wasn’t too impressive in the preseason but a solid performance against Alaves can do him a world of good.
Full Predicted Lineup:
Thibaut Courtois, Lucas Vazquez, Eder Militao, David Alaba, Marcelo, Carlos Casemiro, Luka Modric, Isco, Rodrygo Goes, Vinicius Junior, Luka Jovic