Real Madrid will face a Real Betis side hungry to steal the fourth and final Champions League spot in LaLiga from their bitter derby rivals Sevilla this weekend at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The Merengues just drew 1-1 with Cadiz on Sunday at the Estadio Nuevo Mirandilla, with young goalkeeper Andriy Lunin playing a starring role in a lineup that was rotated heavily.
This match against Betis will serve as a final tune-up before the May 28 Champions League Final against Liverpool.
Here is a prediction for how Real Madrid could line up against Los Verdiblancos on Friday night at the Bernabeu for LaLiga’s 38th and final Matchday of the 2021/22 season.
GK Thibaut Courtois
Thibaut Courtois will return to the starting XI for Lunin in order to stay sharp against Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Luis Diaz, and the Reds’ attack.
LB Ferland Mendy
One of the most important players in the Champions League Final, a healthy Ferland Mendy will make his return on the left side of the defense. His battle with Salah will be watched closely.
CB David Alaba
One of Real Madrid’s best and most important players this season, the new No. 4 will make his return from injury this Friday night. Although he could come off the bench, I think he will start and then get subbed after about an hour for Jesus Vallejo.
CB Nacho Fernandez
Eder Militao could use some time off to clear his head, though it is also possible Nacho starts in the final vs. Liverpool. I would still go with Militao despite the mistakes, but stay tuned.
RB Dani Carvajal
After returning against Cadiz as a substitute, Dani Carvajal will get a chance to shake off the final cobwebs before a very demanding Champions League task against the electrifying Diaz.
CM Toni Kroos
Quietly, Toni Kroos delivered another masterclass this past weekend in the draw with Cadiz. He was magnificent last season in the Champions League against Liverpool and will be vital against the Reds once more. About 60 minutes of action vs. Real Betis will do.
DM Eduardo Camavinga
Casemiro started against the relegation fighters in LaLiga on Matchday 37, so look for Eduardo Camavinga to get more valuable minutes in midfield against a solid Real Betis side.
CM Luka Modric
One of the best players in the world this season, Luka Modric created four goals with a hat-trick of assists against Levante last Thursday. Modric could easily add another assist to his tally against Real Betis. He is a player who very much values being as match-sharp as possible before a big game, so it is not out of the question for him to get close to a full 90 at the Bernabeu this week.
LW Vinicius Jr.
Vinicius Jr. was rested against Cadiz and will be excited at the prospect of adding to his career-high of 17 goals and 10 assists in LaLiga this season. A Ballon d’Or candidate in his own right, Vini was decisive against Liverpool last season and will be a key factor in the Champions League Final this year.
CF Karim Benzema
The best player in the world this season, Karim Benzema is the only Ballon d’Or winner and has put together several defining performances in the 2021/22 Champions League, including back-to-back knockout hat-tricks vs. PSG and Chelsea. Big Benz has been money in LaLiga, too, with a team-high 27 goals and 12 assists. Rested and ready to go, Benz is a good bet to find the back of the net vs. Betis.
Want your voice heard? Join the The Real Champs team!
RW Rodrygo Goes
Rodrygo Goes had a scintillating run to help Real Madrid get on the board early against Cadiz, and his form over the last 10 games has been nothing short of remarkable. The latest Champions Leauge hero for Real, the versatile Brazilian winger should split time with either Fede Valverde or Marco Asensio on this last matchday of LaLiga.