LW Vinicius Jr.
Though his touch was ultimately too heavy to find the game-tying pass, Vinicius Jr. combined with Luka Modric to give Real Madrid a chance of stealing a point from a desperate Atletico Madrid this past weekend.
Vini Jr. is so often the inspiration for Real with his passion, work ethic, and magical boots. The young left winger could use some tune-up matches to stay sharp against Liverpool, because the matchup is ripe for the Brazilian to be the decisive factor.
CF Karim Benzema
The legendary French striker was rested fully against Atletico Madrid, so it stands to reason he will start on Thursday night. Real Madrid’s best alternatives at striker may be false nines, as Mariano Diaz has not inspired – and was injured just before the Derbi – and Luka Jovic has been downright awful. Jovic’s display against Atleti was abysmal.
Karim Benzema will want to add to his goal tally this season, strengthen his Ballon d’Or case, and inch closer to records set by the likes of Raul and Cristiano Ronaldo. Levante’s defense has been a huge weakness this season, so Benz could take advantage and even score another brace before getting 30 minutes or so of rest.
RW Rodrygo Goes
I firmly believe Rodrygo Goes will be in the XI, it’s just a question of which position. Against Atletico Madrid, we saw him on both the left and right wing, moving over to the right-hand side after Vinicius Jr.’s second-half introduction. We could see the same story play out, albeit a move to the left side or even to striker, depending on what happens.
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Rodrygo will not start every match before the LaLiga season ends, but like Eduardo Camavinga and Fede Valverde, I believe the young forward will start more often than not. He has been the decisive player in the Champions League for Real, with his magical brace against Manchester City standing out as one of the greatest individual clutch moments in the history of the competition. But even in smaller games like against Espanyol and Osasuna in the league, Rodrygo has brought immense quality.