Real Madrid Starting XI Prediction vs. Rayo Vallecano for LaLiga’s Matchday 26

Real Madrid, Marco Asensio (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Marco Asensio (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Toni Kroos
Real Madrid, Toni Kroos (Photo by Ion Alcoba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

CM Toni Kroos

Toni Kroos had a field day against Rayo Vallecano back in November. Not only did the world-clas center midfielder score a goal in a close 2-1 win, but he dominated the ball. Kroos had four fouls drawn, two dribbles completed, and two key passes in a commanding, all-action display amidst a great vein of form.

Now, Kroos has not been his usual self due to fatigue, as he was left chasing shadows amidst an awkward gameplan from Carlo Ancelotti at PSG. Rested and ready to go for the weekend fixture at the Vallecas, Madridistas can expect to see another grand performance from one of the best midfielders of the generation.

DM Casemiro

Although I would like to see Real Madrid test out a different midfield setup, especially since Casemiro will be suspended against PSG for the second leg, the reality is that experimentation is far too risky. Real need all the points they can get, and as we have seen in the last couple of matches, Casemiro is vital to this team.

Other options could include Kroos in the 6 role with the young midfielders, Fede Valverde and Eduardo Camavinga, flanking him or another start for Camavinga as a 6. Carlo Ancelotti does not seem to favor Cama in this role – and understandably so. Fully expect a Casemiro start this Saturday afternoon.

CM Fede Valverde

Back-to-back starts for Fede Valverde? I can believe it. Valverde was vital in wins over Granada and Alaves. And while Toni Kroos got his rest against Alaves this past weekend, it would be nice to see Luka Modric get some time off as well. He looked just as worn-down against PSG, though he bounced back significantly against Alaves, perhaps because Valverde’s covering enabled him to play a more relaxed game.

Kroos could benefit similarly from starting with Valverde on the right-hand side of the formation, and then Modric could be fresh for the big fixture against Real Sociedad and PSG thereafter. Valverde has earned more minutes, and Madridistas want to see this important young player in the starting XI.