Real Madrid will lock horns with a relegation-threatened Valencia outfit at the Mestalla on Sunday evening in the first of their remaining four La Liga matches of the season.
Real Madrid come into the game on the back of a disappointing week that saw them watch Barcelona win the league title and then get eliminated from the UEFA Champions League.
The team will still be reeling from the hammering at the hands of Manchester City but will want to produce a strong reaction and finish the season on a strong note, starting with a win against Los Che, who will also be gunning for three points to secure safety.
Carlo Ancelotti will be without the out-of-favour duo of Eden Hazard and Mariano Diaz tomorrow, with the pair missing due to injuries. Other than that, the Real Madrid boss has a full squad at his disposal, but could make some rotations against Valencia.
Here’s how Real Madrid could line up at the Mestalla as they look to bounce back to winning ways.
During the week, it was reported that Thibaut Courtois was dealing with an injury and could miss the Valencia encounter. However, the Belgian international has been named in the squad list and should start between the sticks.
There could, however, be a major shuffle in the defensive lineup in front of the goalkeeper. Lucas Vazquez, who recently became a father for the third time, will likely slot in at right-back ahead of Dani Carvajal, while Ferland Mendy is expected to start at left-back.
Antonio Rudiger should feature as one of the centre-halves after his shock exclusion from the starting XI against Manchester City in midweek. The German international could be partnered by Nacho Fernandez, with David Alaba and Eder Militao dropping out of the team.
There should be a couple of alterations in the middle of the park as well. Aurelien Tchouameni should start at the base of the three-man midfield for Real Madrid, with Toni Kroos making way for the Frenchman.
Dani Ceballos, who has an ‘important offer’ from Aston Villa, should occupy one of the remaining midfield slots, with Federico Valverde completing the trifecta for the visitors.
Moving forward into the final third, Karim Benzema will start as the No. 9 and hope to close the gap to Robert Lewandowski in the race for the Pichichi Trophy. The veteran Frenchman will be supported by Vinicius Jr on the left flank while Marco Asensio should get the nod on the right.
Real Madrid Predicted XI: Courtois, Vazquez, Rudiger, Nacho, Mendy, Valverde, Tchouameni, Ceballos, Asensio, Benzema, Vinicius.
Rodrygo Goes is certain to come on at some point in the second half either to relieve Karim Benzema or add more threat in the final third. Luka Modric and Eduardo Camavinga could also be called up by the manager in case things are not going too well for Real Madrid on the evening.
Fringe players Jesus Vallejo and Alvaro Odriozola could also fancy their chances of getting some minutes on the pitch at the Mestalla.