Predicted Real Madrid lineup against Atletico Madrid: Vinicius, Kroos to return

VInicius Junior and Toni Kroos will return to the Real Madrid starting lineup against Atletico Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup semi-final.

Real Madrid will aim to reach the Spanish Super Cup final when they lock horns with Atletico Madrid in Riyadh on Wednesday. And Carlo Ancelotti will make wholesale changes to the team that took the field the last the Merengues played a game.

Thibaut Courtois, Eder Militao, David Alaba, and Lucas Vazquez are the only players on the sidelines. The quartet has not travelled with the rest of the squad to Saudi Arabia for the Spanish Super Cup.

Meanwhile, Ancelotti did not discuss any team news updates during his pre-match press conference. He was also coy while responding to a question about the identity of the goalkeeper for Wednesday’s game. The Real Madrid boss said, “One of the two will play tomorrow. I don’t want to say which one.”

Andriy Lunin should get the nod ahead of Kepa Arrizabalaga to feature between the sticks against Atletico Madrid. Real Madrid will line up in a 4-3-3 formation in front of him. The backline should see only one player retaining his spot, with Nacho joining Dani Carvajal, Antonio Rudiger, and Ferland Mendy in the defensive quartet.

As for the midfield unit, the fit-again Toni Kroos should return, with Ancelotti likely installing an experienced trifecta behind Jude Bellingham. So, Kroos should accompany Federico Valverde and Luka Modric in the middle of the park. Meanwhile, Ancelotti discussed Valverde’s importance in his squad.

He said, “He’s a complete player, a complete midfielder, who can play football any number of ways. He can play as a winger, when we won the league and the Champions League; and he can play as a pivot, as he’s doing now. He’s very complete and very important for us. In the same game he can play in different positions and it’s difficult to find a midfielder with this profile in the market.”

“We’re fortunate to have him. I think he still has room for improvement when he gains more character and personality. He’s a very humble person. He understands his strength. I always prefer a humble player to an arrogant one but sometimes having a little bit of arrogance can make you a little bit stronger in character.”

Finally, Vinicius Junior should make his long-awaited return to the starting lineup on Wednesday. The Brazilian international and compatriot Rodrygo Goes will be the two strikers. So, Joselu and Brahim Diaz will be options on the bench alongside Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga.

Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid Predicted XI

Predicted Real Madrid XI: Lunin; Carvajal, Rudiger, Nacho, Mendy; Valverde, Kroos, Modric; Bellingham; Rodrygo, Vinicius

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