League-leading Real Madrid face their fading title challengers Sevilla in La Liga on Sunday evening.
Madrid already boast a 12-point lead above Sevilla, level with second-placed Barcelona on 60 points. The capital side travel to the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan with an away record bettered only by Manchester City – their upcoming Champions League semi-final opponents – in Europe’s top five leagues.
Here’s the XI Carlo Ancelotti may deploy to improve upon their impressive form on the road.
Thibaut Courtois (GK) – Only his opposite number this Sunday – Sevilla’s Yassine Bounou – has a better La Liga save percentage than Courtois this season (per FBref).
Lucas Vazquez (RB) – Given Dani Carvajal’s recent injury woes and the gargantuan effort he put into Tuesday night’s chaotic Champions League tie, the winger-turned-full back may be deployed.
Eder Militao (CB) – Madrid’s most-used outfield player missed out on the midweek fun with a yellow-card suspension. If he gets another caution on Sunday Militao will have to serve a domestic ban for the same offence.
David Alaba (CB) – The fittingly cavalier replacement for Sergio Ramos has provided as many league assists as Toni Kroos this season (three).
Ferland Mendy (LB) – Since pulling up with a thigh injury in March, Ancelotti has tentatively eased Mendy back into the fold, taking him off before extra time in midweek to prevent any setbacks.
Fede Valverde (CM) – The indefatigable bundle of kinetic energy has his supreme physical qualities enhanced by the contrast with his supremely talented but 30-plus regular midfield colleagues.
Eduardo Camavinga (CM) – Still just 19 years of age, Camavinga’s start last weekend was just his eighth of the league season but the suspension of Casemiro may have provided him with the chance to make it nine.
Toni Kroos (CM) – The German stroppily trudged off when Ancelotti hooked him off early in midweek perhaps with the trip to Seville in mind.
Rodrygo (RW) – If only Rodrygo played every match like it was the Champions League game; eight of his last 11 goals for the club have come in Europe’s premier club competition.
Karim Benzema (ST) – “Karim the Dream” has been a nightmare for most opponents this season but has only scored once in ten La Liga games at Sevilla’s home ground.
Vinicius Junior (LW) – The Robin to Benzema’s caped crusader has recorded an assist in each of his last three club appearances.