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lineups: Real Madrid vs Braga, 2023 Champions League

lineups: Real Madrid vs Braga, 2023 Champions League

  • Kamran Imtiaz

 

In the Champions League match against Braga, Real Madrid have released their starting lineup.

This is the Real Madrid predicted XI for the upcoming season: Kepa, Vazquez, Nacho, Rudiger, Mendy, Camavinga, Kroos, Valverde, Brahim, Vinicius, Rodrygo.

As predicted by Braga, the starting XI would be Matheus, Mendes, Fonte, Oliveira, Borja, Zalazar, Musrati, Djalo, Horta, Bruma, Banza.

This evening, it appears that Ancelotti will be employing rotations, with reserves such as Brahim Vazquez, Mendy or Nacho being given the opportunity to play and prove their worth. Having played against Rayo in La Liga just a few days earlier, this is a game that Madrid needs to win in order to bounce back from the disappointing result. There will be a bench for Bellingham in this match.

How to watch Real Madrid vs Mallorca 2024 live online: Time, TV channels, and how to watch La Liga

In their first game of the calendar year, Real Madrid will play Mallorca at the Santiago Bernabeu, which should prove to be a manageable game for Los Blancos. There are key players on the team like Carvajal and Vinicius who are returning after a long spell out, as well as Arda Güler, who seems ready to make his debut as well. Moreover, Camavinga and Mendy will be joining Real Madrid's squad very shortly, thereby increasing the depth of the squad in a very significant way.

To gain some confidence for the second half of the season, Real Madrid should try to build a decent lead by the end of the first half of the season. They will have a good chance to do so against Mallorca, although Ancelotti's team should not underestimate them as they will give them a formidable challenge.

Real Madrid's defensive balance thanks to Jude Bellingham and Brahim Diaz

A new column to start the new year. Camavinga's anticipated return, Rodrygo's blitzing defenders, and Brahim and Bellingham's profiles are today's highlights.

Rodrygo dribbles at a transcendent level

Rodrygo is levitated. He's unleashing a dribbling armageddon after a quiet first quarter. It's been two months of nasty attacks. Defenders can't keep him from scoring even when he doesn't score:

Rodrygo's way of maneuvering the ball always has a purpose - somehow at ferocious pace as if he was running without it. When defenses barricade themselves in their end zone, he wants to break lines, find openings, and get the ball to his teammates.

He leads La Liga in carries into the penalty area because he drives the ball forward with shoulder drops and step-overs. The only players in Europe with more carries into the opposition's box are Jeremy Doku, Dejan Kulusevski, and Kaoru Mitoma. There's no stopping Rodrygo from grilling:

Rodrygo is 4th in carries into the penalty area in the Big 5 leagues. Since 2 months ago, his dribbling has been exceptional, even by his standards (99th percentile among all FWs at take-ons). Hard to stop him going north-south.

Among the Big 5 leagues, Rodrygo is 4th in penalty area carries. In the past two months, even for his standards (99th percentile among all FWs in successful take-ons), his dribbling has improved. Hard to stop when he goes north-south. The ball is deadly accurate when he puts it in the box. With eight goals and seven assists, his shooting has been solid. Real Madrid's success depends on him as a key player.

A top dribbler, Rodrygo. He is one of the few you would take over if you need an ingenious low block. As the team heads into late winter / early spring, it will be fun to see Vinicius and Paulo mesh.

Balancing Brahim Diaz

His minutes grow as he impresses. As a result of injuries, suspension, and his great play, he has earned Carlo Ancelotti's trust, and has proved himself in both the 10 and as the sidekick to Rodyrgo up top in Ancelotti's new scheme. As a less involved roamer, he can coexist with Bellingham in a double 10, or as a creator when Bellingham is not available.

Talking about silver linings in regards to injuries makes me uncomfortable. Injury-ridden this season, no one wants any of these. However, Brahim has shown he is an important squad player over the course of the campaign because Vinicius and Bellingham were absent.

A ferocious off-ball runner, Brahim is a brilliant creator, dribbler, and dribbler. Ancelotti finds him invaluable because he works hard on defense:

Here's Brahim's tracking. The effort he puts into pressing and sprinting back in transition has always impressed me. He brings much more to the table than his offense, which is why he has grown in the team.

The offensive performance of Brahim is more obvious. A highly-skilled roamer, he can assume dangerous positions as an extra body for Bellingham:

Jude returned, and fans wondered if Brahim and Jude could coexist. Due to their versatility, it was always yes. He can play on the wings and is a great roamer. Jude relies on him to take up good positions and link up.

This season, Brahim's prominence reminds us why he was such an impressive teenager and how one of the best attacking midfielders in Serie A before contracting COVID. Stefano Pioli taught him how to play the 10 role, which he had been mostly playing as a winger. He's both.

Even when Vinicius returns, he should be able to play off the bench due to his uptick in minutes and performance.

Team news, lineups, TV channel and predictions for Real Madrid vs Braga

  • Three of the first four Champions League groups were won by Real Madrid
  • If Madrid wins against Braga on Wednesday, it will qualify for the next round
  • Reverse fixture ended in a 2-1 win for the Spanish giants

As long as Real Madrid beats Braga on Wednesday, they will qualify for the Champions League round of 16.

Two of Madrid's remaining matches in the group are at home, and they have a 100% record through three matches. As a result of their win in Naples on Matchday 2, Carlo Ancelotti's side leads Group C ahead of Napoli.

Jude Bellingham's magic led Braga to a 2-1 defeat in the reverse fixture. After winning against Union Berlin, they now have a shot at qualifying. It seems more likely to finish third and get into the Europa League.

Real Madrid versus Braga 90 minute preview.

When does Real Madrid vs Braga start?

  • Location: Madrid, Spain
  • Stadium: Estadio Santiago Bernabeu
  • Date: Wednesday 8 November
  • Kick-off Time: 20:00 GMT / 15:00 ET / 12:00 PT
  • Referee:Halil Umut Meler (TUR) 
  • VAR: TBC

Real Madrid vs Braga H2H Record

  • Real Madrid:1 win
  • Braga: 0 wins
  • Draws:0

Real Madrid team news

As we head into this Champions League match, Ancelotti has a few fresh concerns on the injury front.

Despite a shoulder injury, Jude Bellingham only makes the bench. Arda Guler is also among the substitutes and could make his debut.

With a broken foot, Aurelien Tchouameni is out for the remainder of the season. On the long-term injured list are Thibaut Courtois and Eder Militao.

Lineup for Real Madrid vs Braga

As confirmed by Real Madrid, the lineup will be: Kepa; Vazquez, Rudiger, Nacho, Mendy; Camavinga, Valverde, Kroos; Diaz; Rodrygo, Vinicius.

Braga team news

Injuries are not a concern for Braga. He was on the scoresheet at the weekend, but will start at the Bernabeu on Wednesday after missing the reverse fixture.

Real Madrid vs Braga lineup

For Braga's game against Real Madrid (4-3-3): Matheus, Gomez, Fonte, Niakate, Borja; Moutinho, Carvalho, Zalazar; Mist, Horta, Djalo

Real Madrid vs Braga score prediction

As Rayo Vallecano and Real Madrid drew, the importance of Bellingham was evident. When the English superstar fails to deliver, or is simply having a bad day, who will step up?

There's a possibility Ancelotti won't have his English talisman on Wednesday, so he must figure it out.

The stout foundations Madrid has built will serve them well as this competition progresses, despite questions surrounding their attack. The hosts should edge it on their own soil, but it won't be a thriller.

Braga 2-0 Real Madrid

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