Real Madrid Starting XI Prediction vs. Alaves for LaLiga’s Matchday 25

Real Madrid, Eden Hazard (Photo by Alvaro Medranda/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Eden Hazard (Photo by Alvaro Medranda/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Eduardo Camavinga
Real Madrid, Eduardo Camavinga (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

CM Eduardo Camavinga

It’s time to take a risk and rest the veterans. Toni Kroos did not look like himself against PSG, playing a poor game. Some fans have exaggerated how bad Kroos was, because the reality is that Ancelotti’s decision-making hurt Kroos as well. It’s never good when Kroos has to spend so much time defending and isn’t able to exert his influence on the match with his strengths, controlling play.

But Kroos should rest against Alaves so he is fresh for the games after. Eduardo Camavinga is more than good enough to start vs. Alaves. Camavinga has been fantastic at times this season and needs minutes to take the next step. Ancelotti has really dropped the ball on giving the young midfielders minutes this season. Don’t get me started on Antonio Blanco’s situation…

DM Casemiro

One of only four players who performed well for Real Madrid vs. PSG, Casemiro will be suspended for the second leg. Therefore, it makes sense to keep him in the XI against Alaves. Casemiro is very important to Real Madrid structurally, especially with how much Carlo has this team backpedaling without true control of matches. We’ll see how Case’s ball security and passing in the opposing half impact the game on Saturday night.

CM Fede Valverde

We should really be talking up Fede Valverde more, but the problem is that the young center midfielder cannot get into a rhythm. Part of that is his own inconsistency, as we can see from his disappointing start against Villarreal last weekend. But most of that is, yes, on Ancelotti for not playing Fede enough so that the midfielder can find a groove.

Valverde is one of those players who needs a consistent role and trust from the manager so he can get momentum. We haven’t seen that from him. He did not even start for Real Madrid against PSG despite seeming like the best option on paper, and Real’s poor performance vindicated the fans who criticized Carletto for not starting Fede.

Surely, he will start for a tired Luka Modric on Saturday at the Bernabeu. Modric was fabulous in January but has been under the weather lately.