Real Madrid Starting XI Prediction vs. Villarreal for LaLiga’s Matchday 24

Real Madrid, Fede Valverde (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Fede Valverde (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Marcelo
Real Madrid, Marcelo (Photo by Aitor Alcalde Colomer/Getty Images) /

Real Madrid will face Villarreal on Saturday afternoon at the Estadio de la Ceramica. Although most fans are focused on Tuesday’s Champions League fixture against PSG, this match against the Yellow Submarine won’t be an easy one. Los Blancos were outplayed by Villarreal earlier this season, dropping points in a 0-0 draw. They have often found it tough against this side.

Compounding matters is the fact that Real Madrid won’t have Karim Benzema or Ferland Mendy available as starters. Perhaps they could get minutes off the bench before PSG, but even that is highly unlikely at this juncture. Both Mendy and Benzema are doubts for the Champions League fixture, too, with Benz’s status looking especially unlikely.

Let’s predict the starting lineup for Los Blancos on Saturday in LaLiga, as Carlo Ancelotti’s men will look to continue to maintain distance between themselves as second-place Sevilla.

GK Thibaut Courtois

No prizes for guessing who will be in goal for Real Madrid this weekend. Thibaut Courtois is playing at a higher level than any other keeper in LaLiga this season, and there have been some nice surprises. He stands a good chance of bailing Real out this Saturday, even if Gerard Moreno won’t be opposite him.

LB Marcelo

David Alaba could start at left back as he did in the Copa del Rey defeat, but it is more likely Ancelotti will turn to the veteran Marcelo. Though he has mostly been a liability since the start of the 2020-2021 season, Marcelo was very good against Granada last weekend. He will want to end his legendary Real Madrid career on a high note, and Villarreal would be another big test for him.

CB David Alaba

It’s clear to Ancelotti and many Madridistas that Alaba must start in the center of the defense each and every week. He is too important in his reading of the game and passing to be present on the flank, even if he is a legendary left back in his own right.

CB Eder Militao

Eder Militao has been one of Real Madrid’s most important players this season, always standing out in the big games, even when his teammates don’t. Villarreal should still present an attacking threat with Yeremi and Danjuma up top, as well as Samuel Chukwueze cutting in from the right-hand side.

RB Dani Carvajal

It was so good to have Dani Carvajal back last weekend against Granada, and his return couldn’t have come at a more important time between the PSG fixture coming up and the return of injury woes for Real’s starting left back. Carvajal is one of the best in the business, and he is a sneaky candidate to be the standout player of the match.