Real Madrid

Real Madrid predicted lineup vs Osasuna - La Liga

Grey Whitebloom
Carlo Ancelotti has overseen four clean sheets in his last five matches against Osasuna
Carlo Ancelotti has overseen four clean sheets in his last five matches against Osasuna / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Real Madrid welcome Osasuna to the Santiago Bernabeu in the Spanish top flight on Sunday evening.

Los Blancos haven't lost at home to the Navarre side since 2004, in a match which exposed the fundamental flaws of Florentino Perez's laughably top-heavy Galacticos.

Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane, Raul and Luis Figo floated ahead of a midfield pivot comprising of David Beckham and Guti - great passers, but hardly the most defensively sound pairing. At centre-back, Madrid relied upon the academy pairing of Raul Bravo and Alvaro Mejia - not quite the household names of their teammates.

Here's the slightly more balanced XI Carlo Ancelotti may select to avoid a rare defeat against Osasuna.

1. Real Madrid XI (4-3-3)

GK: Thibaut Courtois - As a child, Courtois was once thrown in a dustbin by Kristof Hoho, his father's former volleyball partner. You'd need a skip to house the 6'6 goalkeeper these days.

RB: Dani Carvajal - The goal-shy full-back has bagged 20% of his La Liga goal tally (one of five) against Osasuna.

CB: Antonio Rudiger - Suspension afforded Rudiger an early return from Germany's international camp, perhaps giving him the edge over Brazil's Eder Militao.

CB: David Alaba - "He's a left-back," Louis van Gaal insisted as Alaba's Bayern Munich manager, "even though he doesn't think so himself." Ancelotti also appears to disagree with the strident Dutch coach.

LB: Ferland Mendy - Marcelo's successor hasn't lost a La Liga match at home since Levante beat Madrid in January 2021.

CM: Toni Kroos - The German metronome admits that he practised simply controlling the ball "tens of thousands of times" as a kid. Unsurprisingly, Kroos' ball retention is legendary, successfully receiving a staggering 99% of the passes aimed at him this season (per FBref).

CM: Aurelien Tchouameni - The incredibly dedicated 22-year-old had a one-on-one session with Monaco's psychological trainer before every match. This is an area of interest shared by Ancelotti who was a big supporter of Milan's famed 'Mind Lab'.

CM: Eduardo Camavinga - After a fire burned down Camavinga's family home, his father lumbered the ten-year-old with an incredible burden in the form of a prophecy: “What has just happened to us is tragic but it is you who will raise the family.”

RW: Federico Valverde - The average distance of Valverde’s shots this season are 20 yards from goal - outside the box. Yet he has converted these speculative efforts at a frankly unsustainable rate of 25%.

ST: Karim Benzema -
While the return of last season's leading scorer will be warmly greeted, Madrid have averaged a goal every 30 minutes in Benzema's absence this term.

LW: Vinicius Junior - The enigmatic winger has drawn support from all corners of the globe after being racially targeted in recent weeks and has still been a reliably potent threat for Madrid.