Predicting Carlo Ancelotti's Real Madrid XI to Face PSG

Samuel MarsdenFeatured ColumnistJuly 26, 2013

MADRID, SPAIN - JULY 16:  Nacho Fernandez (L) of Real Madrid competes for the ball with teammate Pepe (R) during a training session at the Valdebebas training ground on July 16, 2013 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

After two friendlies—one win, one draw, eight goals for and two against—Real Madrid head to Sweden on Saturday to take on Paris Saint-Germain.

The match at the Ullevi Stadium in Gothenburg pits Carlo Ancelotti against the side he managed last season, barely a month after he left them to move to the Spanish capital.

Los Blancos will remain with out their Confederations Cup participants for the match against the free-spending French champions. So, with their absences in mind, how is Ancelotti likely to shape his side?


Goalkeeper and Defense 

With Iker Casillas still not ready to participate after his national team exertions this summer, Diego Lopez is likely to continue in goal. the Spanish keeper has started the previous two friendlies against Bournemouth and Lyon.

Dani Carvajal, Pepe and Nacho Fernandez have also started both matches so far in preseason and should continue to form 75 percent of Madrid's back four.

On the left is likely to be Fabio Coentrao, although the Portuguese defender missed the Lyon draw and was replaced by Denis Cheryshev—the 22-year-old Russian who has recently signed a new four year contract with the club, via Yahoo!.


Central Midfield

Asier Illarramendi started against Lyon on Wednesday night, so he should be set to start again on Saturday after beginning preseason with a slight knock.

Luka Modric and Sami Khedira—in the absence of Xabi Alonso—are the two likely to start alongside the new signing, with the Croatian's more attacking style likely to persuade Ancelotti to opt for him.

Brazilian Casemiro produced an impressive cameo from the bench against Lyon, scoring a goal, but remains unlikely to start in Sweden.


The Triumvirate

So far Ancelotti has used Mesut Ozil, Isco and Cristiano Ronaldo from the start in both of his matches in charge. However, against Lyon they didn't make up a triumvirate as Angel di Maria was also involved.

Kaka played a part against Bournemouth, but was given the Lyon game off as he worked on a training regiment given to him by the Italian coach.

With that in mind, it's likely to be the same three which started the match against the English Championship side who will begin the game against PSG. Di Maria and Kaka will appear in the second half.


The Striker

With Gonzalo Higuain's departure to Napoli confirmed, Karim Benzema seemingly has the No. 9 role to himself; two starts in two friendlies suggests that to be the case, too.

However, Alvaro Morata emerged from the bench with the confidence to score a penalty against Lyon and Jese Rodriguez has just signed a new deal to remain at the Bernabeu for four more seasons, via

Jese is more likely to take a wide berth this season, though, and due to his involvement at the Under-20 World Cup, he has not yet featured in a friendly, leaving Benzema as the probable starter against the side from his home country.