Real Madrid

Real Madrid predicted lineup vs Espanyol - La Liga

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Carlo Ancelotti is on the verge of a historic feat this weekend
Carlo Ancelotti is on the verge of a historic feat this weekend / Alex Livesey - Danehouse/GettyImages
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Real Madrid host Espanyol on Saturday afternoon on the brink of a La Liga title that would be a historic feat for Carlo Ancelotti.

Real's 62-year-old manager didn't win the Spanish title during his first spell in the capital, settling for the club's tenth Champions League triumph instead. However, the Premier League winner with Chelsea, Serie A conqueror at Milan, Ligue 1 triumphant in charge of PSG and Bundesliga champion with Bayern Munich needs just one point on Saturday to complete his set of European top-flight crowns.

However, with a Champions League semi-final second leg against Manchester City on the horizon and a problematic list of absentees to contend with, Ancelotti has some decisions to make when it comes to his team selection.

Here's how he could set up.


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

Karim Benzema
Benzema is in the form of his life / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Thibaut Courtois (GK) - Real's number one has conceded seven goals from the last nine shots he's faced.


Lucas Vazquez (RB) - An ever-ready and willing deputy in defence with his past as a winger all but forgotten.


Dani Carvajal (CB) - The natural right-back was shoved centrally during the closing stages of Real's Champions League success against Chelsea earlier this month and he may be forced into this role from the start as Eder Militao and Nacho Fernandez serve suspensions and David Alaba recovers from injury.


Jesus Vallejo (CB) - If neither Alaba nor Casemiro can return to fitness, Ancelotti may have to turn to the lesser spotted 25-year-old and add to his seven minutes of La Liga football this season.


Ferland Mendy (LB) - Given the upheaval to his right, Mendy may not be rested for midweek to preserve a fraction of defensive continuity.


Federico Valverde (CM) - One of the few members of an experienced squad that won't feel a hint of fatigue, such is his remarkable stamina.


Toni Kroos (CM) - Ancelotti may not risk Casemiro from the start on Saturday if his fitness is spurious, leaving a spot at the base of midfield Kroos can fill.


Eduardo Camavinga (CM) - With the title all but sealed, Luka Modric's 36-year-old limbs may be granted some rest and replaced by a player 17 years his junior.


Rodrygo (RW) - Locked in a battle with Marco Asensio for one of the few positions up for grabs since Ancelotti settled upon this 4-3-3 shape, Rodrygo has started three of Real's last four matches.


Karim Benzema (ST) - The single greatest campaign of his career keeps hitting new peaks as Karim the Dream surpassed 40 goals for the season for the first time.


Vinicius Junior (LW) - The fleet-footed Brazilian has either scored or assisted five goals in his last six appearances for Los Blancos.

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