Real Madrid continue their La Liga campaign on Sunday night, as Carlo Ancelotti takes his men to Levante.
Los Blancos head into matchday two of the season as league leaders after thrashing Alaves 4-1 away from home in their opening fixture. A Karim Benzema brace, as well as goal from Nacho Fernandez and Vinicius Junior, gave them that win which, following an unusually quiet transfer window, lifted the pessimistic mood heading into the 2021/22 campaign.
They now face a Levante side who sit eighth in La Liga courtesy of a 1-1 draw with Cadiz on matchday one. So, in a bid to make it two from two, here’s the side Ancelotti could set out on Sunday night.
Thibaut Courtois (GK) – Undeniably one of the best goalkeepers on the planet, Courtois saved his side on more than one occasion last term and will be the firm first choice between the sticks this year.
Lucas Vazquez (RB) – Proved to be a reliable option at right-back last season and, after starting Real’s opener in Dani Carvajal’s absence, will likely feature there once more.
Eder Militao (CB) – Had a shaky game last time out and shouldn’t be considered the long-term option at the heart of the side’s defence but, with current injuries, will start again on Sunday.
Nacho Fernandez (CB) – This season could finally be the one for Nacho to step up into the limelight – will deservedly start once more for Ancelotti at Levante.
David Alaba (LB) – The need for the Austrian in central defence was apparent at Alaves but, with Ferland Mendy and Marcelo out of action, he’ll continue on the left.
Casemiro (DM) – There aren’t many defensive midfielders better than Casemiro, who is integral to this side and will be a key figure throughout the campaign.
Federico Valverde (CM) – His dynamism and versatility could be crucial for an otherwise ageing Real midfield this season and, should Ancelotti continue to rate him, he’ll be in for a big campaign.
Isco (CM) – With Luka Modric joining Toni Kroos and Dani Ceballos on the sidelines, Ancelotti is running out of options in midfield. This is a straight shoot-out between Isco and Marco Asensio.
Vinicius Junior (RW) – Ancelotti gave Gareth Bale his first Real Madrid start in over a year last time out, but Vinicius did well off the bench and his goal should earn him a start.
Karim Benzema (ST) – His importance to the side cannot be understated – they need him. Already on two goals for the season, there is no way Benzema doesn’t start.
Eden Hazard (LW) – A fresh face in the dugout seems to be doing the Belgian some good. Played well in Los Blancos’ last outing and should retain his place in the side.