Real Madrid predicted lineup vs Almeria - La Liga

Carlo Ancelotti is entering his 27th year as manager after a 16-year playing career
Carlo Ancelotti is entering his 27th year as manager after a 16-year playing career / Omar Vega/GettyImages

Real Madrid begin their defence of the La Liga title with a trip to newly promoted Almeria on Sunday night.

Carlo Ancelotti's side kicked off the new campaign with victory in the UEFA Super Cup, dispatching Europa League winners Eintracht Frankfurt with the same starting XI that defeated Liverpool in last season's Champions League final.

While Ancelotti has tentatively hinted at employing "a little more rotation" this season, here's a familiar XI that may find its way onto the pitch this weekend.

Real Madrid predicted lineup vs Almeria (4-3-3)

1. Real Madrid Starting 11

Thibaut Courtois
Thibaut Courtois was man of the match in last May's Champions League final / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

GK: Thibaut Courtois - Most footballers have hours of their match highlights compiled by fans but Courtois started his own YouTube channel (YardBrooz) depicting his skills in the garden as a child.

RB: Dani Carvajal - The 30-year-old fullback hasn't lost an away game in La Liga since a trip to Levante in February 2020, pre-pandemic.

CB: Eder Militao - A summer of upheaval in his personal life - separating from Brazilian influencer Karoline Lima days after she gave birth to his daughter, Cecilia - didn't impinge on Militao's breezy season opener against Frankfurt.

CB: David Alaba - The 30-year-old former Bayern Munich fullback was a teenager the last time he didn't finish the season with a league title.

LB: Ferland Mendy - When Mendy was a teenager he was told he would never play football again after hip surgery forced him into a wheelchair.

CM: Luka Modric - According to his teammate Lucas Vazquez, at 36 Modric is "playing better football now than when he arrived from Spurs".

CM: Casemiro - The UEFA Super Cup's player of the match began the season in the best possible way.

CM: Toni Kroos - By his own estimation, Kroos is the only Real Madrid player that cleans his own boots every day. Though they require special attention given he's had the same pair since the start of the 2013/14 season.

RW: Rodrygo - So often Madrid's saviour off the bench last season, Rodrygo may be given the chance to make an impact from the off this weekend.

ST: Karim Benzema - Now clear of Raul in second place on Real Madrid's all-time top scorers' list, Benzema has another 126 to plunder before he reaches Cristiano Ronaldo at the summit.

LW: Vinicius Junior - At least one of Vinicius or Benzema was the scorer or assister for 69% of Real Madrid’s league goals last term (55/80).

Subs: Lunin, Fernandez, Rudiger, Vallejo, Tchouameni, Valverde, Camavinga, Hazard, Asensio