Real Madrid failed to make first place their own in La Liga after a 2-2 draw against Sevilla during the weekend as they now prepare for a Thursday night match where they take on Granada with only three matches left in the competition. Needless to say, this is yet another “Final” as any slip could see them too far away from realistically winning La Liga.
Many would have hoped that by this time in the season, Real Madrid would be champions and we could have seen more of Andriy Lunin but that’s not the case as it has proven to be one of the tightest La Liga races in years and therefore there’s no doubt that Thibaut Courtois will be the starting goalkeeper as usual on the night as he’ll be hoping for a late birthday celebration with a victory.
The changes could start here as it is unknown so far whether Alvaro Odriozola will be able to start the game and that will surely be a massive headache for Zinedine Zidane as he has no one else that can play in the right-back position due to Dani Carvajal and Lucas Vazquez both being on the injury list.
If that’s the case, then things will be very shaky at the back with Fede Valverde the only logical player to take Odriozola’s place while the center-back partnership will see Eder Militao and Nacho Fernandez playing together for the first time this season. On the left, another change could be seen with Miguel Gutierrez possibly making his first start. Marcelo is fit to play but Zidane may not want to use a player who goes forward well but is a defensive liability on the night.
Not too much is expected to change when it comes to Real Madrid’s midfield which is a positive and negative. Carlos Casemiro has consistently shown that the team simply does not function as well without him and he’ll be taking care of things while Toni Kroos and Luka Modric attempt to give us some magic in the center of the pitch.
It’s always positive to see the trio line up together but fatigue continues to be a massive worry and it remains to be seen if they have enough to take them to the end. Don’t be too surprised if Antonio Blanco makes an appearance on the night as well.
Could Eden Hazard return to the lineup? Zidane opted to bench the midfielder against Sevilla as he came on and got a goal to his name although he probably didn’t know much about it until the game ended. He could potentially start though while Vinicius Junior may be rested for Marco Asensio, who really impressed when he came on as a substitute and scored in a little over a minute to get Real Madrid back into the game over the weekend.
Up front, it is and will always be Karim Benzema who has maintained a brilliantly high level throughout the season.
Full Predicted Lineup
Thibaut Courtois, Fede Valverde, Eder Militao, Nacho, Miguel Gutierrez, Carlos Casemiro, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Marco Asensio, Eden Hazard, Karim Benzema