Real Madrid vs. Granada Starting XI Prediction for LaLiga’s Matchday 23

Real Madrid, Eden Hazard (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Eden Hazard (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Luka Modric
Real Madrid, Luka Modric (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images) /

CM Toni Kroos

Nobody will be ruing his performance on Thursday night more than Toni Kroos himself. The German center midfielder is one of the world’s best, but he looked quite mediocre against Athletic Bilbao in Real’s fourth meeting with the Lions. Kroos helped out defensively, but it felt like he was chasing shadows. Normally in control, Kroos was surprisingly out of sorts against Bilbao and unable to create chances.

Granada will play Kroos tough, but the experienced midfielder should have full control once again. He was sublime against Granada the last time out, and it is difficult seeing how the visitors will be able to match Real’s quality in midfield.

DM Casemiro

Casemiro was one of the scapegoats for the loss to Bilbao, as he missed a clear chance and then gifted the ball to the home side later, which eventually led to Alex Berenguer scoring a banger in match-winning fashion.

Though Casemiro gets too much hate, a lot of the criticism is valid. Can Real Madrid, a team aspiring to win the Champions League, view a player who makes this many mistakes in his own half as an undisputed starter? There isn’t a better option than him in the defensive midfield, but that may be part of the issue with the way the squad is built.

So Case will have a point to prove against Granada, and that may lead to a major performance.

CM Luka Modric

As tempting as it is to want to pencil in Fede Valverde as a starter, especially since he does not play enough, I don’t see how Carlo Ancelotti leaves Luka Modric on the bench. Even though Modric wasn’t good against Athletic Bilbao, he has been class this season, including in January. You’d bet on Modric having another Man of the Match-caliber performance against Granada, whom he seems to thoroughly enjoy playing against.