Real Madrid, Fede Valverde (Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Thibaut Courtois (Photo by Nicolò Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images)
After grinding out a tough 1-0 win over Rayo Vallecano thanks to more heroics from Thibaut Courtois, Vinicius Jr., and Karim Benzema, Real Madrid have an even tougher challenge prior to their second leg battle with PSG at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Los Blancos will be in the Bernabe for their second fixture of 2021-22 against an opponent who usually gives them trouble, Real Sociedad.
Though La Real are no longer title contenders in LaLiga, they have attacking firepower and never lost to Los Blancos in 2020-2021. Of course, Real Madrid vanquished them at the Anoeta in their last head-to-head meeting, winning 2-0 due to Luka Jovic’s excellence in replacing an injured Benzema, as well as some downright delightful defending from center back Eder Militao.
Real Madrid have not been in great form lately, but they are riding back-to-back wins (and clean sheets) over Alaves and Rayo following their humbling defeat to PSG at the Parc des Princes.
Who will start for Los Merengues vs. Real Sociedad on Saturday night at the Bernabeu? Here is a lineup prediction for this big-ticket LaLiga match.
The man who is too important to rotate. Thibaut Courtois has been Real Madrid’s best player this season, and that is saying something considering how good Karim Benzema (19 goals) and Vinicius Jr. have been up top. But if you’ve watched every minute of every match, you know how much Courtois means to this Madrid team.
Ferland Mendy won’t play next week in the Champions League due to a suspension for too many yellow cards, and Carlo Ancelotti has made it crystal clear that he will use him before the match instead of experimenting before the second leg. And really, does he have any alternatives? This game against La Real is plenty important, as Sevilla are very much in the title race.
David Alaba missed the match against Rayo Vallecano, and, just like against Barcelona in the Supercup, his presence was very much missed despite the narrow victory. That said, Alaba was held out as a precaution so that he would be ready for these back-to-back vital fixtures against Real Sociedad and PSG.
One of the best central defenders in Europe, Eder Militao was masterful against La Real’s star-studded attack at the Anoeta. Expect another big-game performance from the cerebral center back.
Dani Carvajal is yet another Real Madrid veteran who starts whenever he is healthy. This club really needs a true right back, but, until then, Carvajal has to start in every big game like this one.
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