Real Madrid make the short trip to the Coliseum Alfonso Perez to face Getafe in La Liga on Saturday night.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side may be level on points with Barcelona at the top of La Liga, but Real have yet to keep a single clean sheet this season. It is the first time since 1999 that Los Blancos have conceded in each of their opening seven games of a campaign – a term in which they had to wait until January for their first shutout.
Here’s the XI Ancelotti may deploy to rediscover some domestic parsimony this weekend.
1. Real Madrid XI (4-3-3)
GK: Andriy Lunin – Thibaut Courtois’ scarcely used stand-in has been on Real Madrid’s books since 2018 but is yet to feature in a La Liga win.
RB: Lucas Vazquez – With a thigh injury behind him, Vazquez may be ushered in for his first appearance in a month to give Dani Carvajal some respite.
CB: Eder Militao – The Brazilian centre-back admits that he is “fulfilling a dream in Madrid” as a starter for the best side in Europe.
CB: Nacho – Real Madrid’s Swiss army knife could give David Alaba a breather if he lines up against his favourite opponents, winning ten of his 11 appearances in this local rivalry.
LB: Ferland Mendy – One of the four La Liga goals Mendy has scored came against Getafe in February 2021.
CM: Luka Modric – Still one stride ahead of every opponent and Father Time, Modric could make his return to the XI after a brief spell recovering from a minor fitness concern.
CM: Aurelien Tchouameni – Nicknamed “The Octopus” at his former side Monaco, Tchouameni’s improvement with each Real Madrid appearance may soon see the sobriquet re-emerge in the Spanish capital.
CM: Eduardo Camavinga – According to Ancelotti, Camavinga endures a “positional problem” at the start of a match before thriving “when the game is more open”.
RW: Rodrygo – Upon his arrival at Real Madrid, Rodrygo had specifically developed his game to play on the right to accommodate Eden Hazard – who happened to be his screensaver for a time. However, the 21-year-old has dovetailed with his compatriot Vinicius Junior more often.
ST: Karim Benzema – The Frenchman has struggled for goals since returning from injury – though it’s not for a lack of trying. Benzema fired off as many as eight shots without scoring against Shakhtar in midweek, his highest tally without scoring since matching the figure against Valencia in 2017.
LW: Vinicius Junior – Before his first training session with Flamengo, Vinicius found himself on the front cover of the Spanish sports daily Marca. It’s safe to say he has reappeared since.