Real Madrid will aim to book a spot in the Copa del Rey quarter-finals when they face Elche on Thursday evening.
Fresh from their Supercopa de Espana triumph against Athletic Bilbao in Qatar, the Los Blancos have now set their sights on making it five consecutive wins in all competitions in midweek. They have been in top form in the domestic competitions this term under Carlo Ancelotti.
While Carlo Ancelotti’s head into the Copa del Rey last-16 tie as favourites, they will be wary of Elche at the Estadio Manuel Martinez Valero.
Real Madrid Team News
Eder Militao is suspended after picking up a straight red card in the Supercopa de Espana final against Athletic Bilbao. Karim Benzema and Thibaut Courtois have not been included in the squad for Thursday’s fixture due to a minor knock and rest respectively.
💥 The goals from our last #CopaDelRey outing! pic.twitter.com/upo0fYZSvy
— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) January 20, 2022
Dani Carvajal is yet to recover from Covid-19, while Marco Asensio and Mariano Diaz are both unavailable due to injury problems. But, in a surprise boost to Real Madrid, Gareth Bale has been named in the travelling squad.
Predicted Real Madrid Lineup vs Elche (4-3-3)
With Thibaut Courtois rested, Andriy Lunin will have a great chance to impress the manager. This will be the Ukrainian’s second start of the season between the sticks.
Real Madrid have a few problems to deal with in defence, with Eder Militao suspended and Dani Carvajal out with Covid-19. This would see Lucas Vazquez retain his spot at right-back from the Supercopa de Espana final against Athletic Bilbao.
Nacho Fernandez will replace Militao and partner David Alaba at centre-back, while Marcelo gets the nod ahead of Ferland Mendy for the left-back position.
In midfield, Toni Kroos, Casemiro and Luka Modric are naturally the first-team regulars. However, on Thursday, Ancelotti might start only Casemiro from Real’s brilliant midfield trio.
Federico Valverde is pushing for a start and he could receive a start alongside the talented Eduardo Camavinga, as the two box-to-box midfielders look to form a solid partnership and attempt to disrupt Elche’s build-up play.
In the attacking department, Ancelotti might be tempted to retain Rodrygo Goes after his crucial assist for Luka Modric is Real’s opening goal in the Supercopa de Espana final last weekend.
Vinicius Junior is likely to make way for Eden Hazard on the left flank, whereas Luka Jovic will lead the Los Blancos attack against Elche.
The expected front three of Rodrygo, Hazard and Jovic will look to combine well and exploit Elche’s weaknesses on the break.