Real Madrid vs Napoli: Match preview

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Real Madrid return to UEFA Champions League action at the Santiago Bernabeu as they take on the current Italian champions, Napoli. With qualification all but sealed, the Merengues will hope to maintain their winning streak in the Champions League and look to get at least one point in this game to ensure the top spot in their group.

Match Details

Date: Wednesday, 29th November 2023
Competition: UEFA Champions League
Matchday: 5
Time: 22:00 CEST
Venue: Santiago Bernabeu

Match Preview

Los Blancos enter this fixture after a comfortable 0-3 victory against Cadiz over the weekend, thanks to a brace from Rodrygo and a goal by Jude Bellingham. The victory solidified their position at the top of the table following Girona’s 1-1 draw against Athletic Bilbao.

Los Merengues do not have much to play for, but winning is their mantra, and they will look to secure another victory against a formidable Italian opponent, who will also be aiming to secure three points to ensure their progression to the next stage of the competition.

The Merengues have a long list of injuries, namely Courtois, Militao, Vinicius Jr., Tchouameni, Camavinga, and the summer arrival Arda Guler.

Consequently, they have named several youth team players in their matchday squad, including Mario Martin, Nico Paz, and Theo Zidane in the midfield, and Gonzalo Garcia in the attack.

Furthermore, Luka Modric wobbled off the pitch against Cadiz as he was substituted in the 70th minute. Although it was just a knock, Carlo Ancelotti is not expected to risk him for this fixture.

On the other hand, Napoli are coming off a 1-2 victory against Atalanta, with it being the first match for newly appointed manager – Walter Mazzarri. The win ensured that they remained in the top 4 of the Serie A table.

Real Madrid emerged victorious in a 2-3 thriller that involved these two sides in the previous fixture at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona. Los Blancos will require to be at the top of their game in order to ensure a victory and grab the three points.

As seen in the other games this season, Real Madrid are expected to go with the 4-3-1-2 formation. Lunin will start in goal along as the recovery period for Kepa lengthens. Dani Carvajal – who’s been solid this season – will keep his place at right back.

It wouldn’t be a surprise if Rudiger is rested, and in such an occurrence Alaba and Nacho will be the center-back pairing. Furthermore, Ancelotti may be inclined to start Fran Garcia due to a sloppy performance from Ferland Mendy against Cadiz.

Moreover, due to the injuries and absence of Luka Modric, the team in white is expected to start with Kroos, Fede Valverde, and Dani Ceballos in midfield. The star Englishman, Jude Bellingham will keep his position as the number 10 in the starting lineup.

Rodrygo has been in a fine run of form lately – racking up 5 goals and 4 assists in the last 3 games. Joselu would start alongside him, with them partnering in front of goal.

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