Three players Real Madrid should rest against Villarreal

Eder Militao of Real Madrid (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Eder Militao of Real Madrid (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images) /

You never want to overlook an opponent no matter the quality. However, in this case, Real Madrid might be prioritizing its trip to France on Tuesday for the Champions League round of 16 clash with Paris Saint-Germain.

Manager Carlo Ancelotti has been rigid with the squads he has selected as of late – especially with Karim Benzema and Ferland Mendy recovering from knocks – but the boss must take into consideration the workload of some of his crucial first-teamers.

Eder Militao, Real Madrid
Eder Militao of Real Madrid (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images) /

1) Eder Militao

He has been tremendous filling the void left by Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane. After two years of coming off the bench and waiting patiently for his time in the limelight, Militao has been the backbone that has buoyed Real Madrid to the top of La Liga.

Besides goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, no Real Madrid player has played more minutes across the 23 league matches than Militao. The Brazilian international sat out the 4-1 win over Granada on matchday 14, but has played every minute of every other game.

In the ugly win over Granada, Militao was once again crucial in helping Los Blancos secure a clean sheet, but after some busy international breaks and playing so often for the club, Militao deserves and likely needs a solid week of rest.

Militao and David Alaba have the tough task of slowing down the prolific PSG forward line on Tuesday, so why not start Nacho Fernandez alongside Alaba for this game?

Luka Modric, Real Madrid
Luka Modric of Real Madrid CF (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

2) Luka Modric

Lukita Modric is proving to all the doubters that age is just a number.

Not only is the midfield maestro still playing some of the best football of his career, but at 36, he is still a regular in the starting XI. Modric, Toni Kroos, and Casemiro have formed an inseparable trident in the heart of the formation, but Modric is more than deserving of a breather.

Casemiro was absent from the win over Granada with Eduardo Camavinga starting and Federico Valverde coming on for the entire second half. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Luka left on the bench for the start of this match.

Perhaps he could get some minutes off the bench if the match is close in the second half, but give Valverde, Isco, Camavinga, or even Dani Ceballos a good run to let Modric rest up for PSG.

The Real Madrid midfield will have to deal with a lot of speed from the French club this week. Controlling the flow of the match and the possession will be key in getting a good result in the Parc de Princes.

That means Modric is pulling the strings for the entire 90 minutes.

Vinicius Junior, Real Madrid
Vinicius Junior of Real Madrid (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

3) Vinicius Junior

After seeing how the Real Madrid front three operated without Vini nor Karim Benzema, I am skeptical to add Vinicius Junior to the list, but a healthy and fit front three for the match against PSG could not be more important.

The away goal tiebreaker has been removed from the Champions League this season, so Real will likely need to score at least once. Vini has been so good on and off the ball when pushing the ball forward, he has to be at his best in Paris.

Especially with Karim coming off a hamstring issue, having Vini as fresh as possible is key.

Next. Real Madrid Starting XI Prediction vs. Villarreal. dark

Could this offer a chance to Eden Hazard or perhaps Gareth Bale to get a start and show their worth in an important match? If Ancelotti wants to make a deep run in the UCL, it might be his best option!