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Roma vs. Real Madrid: How Los Blancos Will Line Up in Champions Cup

BERKELEY, CA - JULY 26:  Real Madrid poses for a team photo before their game against FC Internazionale in the International Champions Cup 2014 at California Memorial Stadium on July 26, 2014 in Berkeley, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Tim CollinsFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 2, 2017

Real Madrid will continue their summer tour of the United States with their second International Champions Cup clash, against Roma at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas on Tuesday.

Carlo Ancelotti's men suffered defeat in their opening pre-season outing against Inter Milan in California on Saturday, going down in a penalty shootout after the teams were left deadlocked at 1-1 following the conclusion of 90 minutes.

Most notable for Los Blancos in their opening encounter was the sparkling first-half performance of Gareth Bale.

Looking in peak condition thanks to his absence from this summer's World Cup in Brazil, the Welshman tormented Walter Mazzarri's relatively strong side. He created havoc with his pace and shooting ability that saw him find the back of the net in the 10th minute with a blistering long-range strike. 

However, Bale aside, Ancelotti's extremely inexperienced squad put on a largely underwhelming display thereafter; the former Tottenham star's exit seeing the match shift in favour of the Serie A outfit. 

Missing a host of the team's stars in the aftermath of the World Cup, Ancelotti fielded a side containing a plethora of the club's Castilla squad members and youth products, with Raul de Tomas, Diego Llorente, Ruben Sobrino, Alvaro Medran, Marcos Llorente, Omar Mascarell and Derik Osede all seeing minutes in Berkeley. 

BERKELEY, CA - JULY 26:  Gareth Bale #11 of Real Madrid celebrates after he scored a goal in the first half of their match against FC Internazionale in the International Champions Cup 2014 at California Memorial Stadium on July 26, 2014 in Berkeley, Calif
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

BERKELEY, CA - JULY 26:  Danilo D'Ambrosio #33 of FC Internazionale tries to keep the ball away from Isco #23 of Real Madrid in the International Champions Cup 2014 at California Memorial Stadium on July 26, 2014 in Berkeley, California.  (Photo by Ezra S
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Ancelotti, however, will have a number of his more experienced players available for the clash against Roma, with Cristiano Ronaldo, Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos and Luka Modric all joining up with the rest of the squad in recent days, according to the club's official website

Predicting how Real Madrid will line up is, of course, extremely difficult, but it's certain that the manager will heavily rotate his squad throughout the 90 minutes in Dallas.

In goal, the Italian could deploy Jesus Fernandez for the opening half or more, given the 26-year-old's superb pair of saves against Inter Milan after replacing Diego Lopez. The chance to get another look at his third goalkeeping option is likely to be taken by Ancelotti. 

At the back, Nacho Fernandez could again start alongside Pepe in the centre of the defence, with Daniel Carvajal and Fabio Coentrao assuming the full-back positions. 

Assuming changes are made, Sergio Ramos and Derik Osede could form a pairing after half-time, while Alvaro Arbeloa and Diego Llorente may get a chance on either side. 

BERKELEY, CA - JULY 26:  Rene Krhin #44 of FC Internazionale and Daniel Carvajal #15 of Real Madrid go for the ball during the International Champions Cup 2014 at California Memorial Stadium on July 26, 2014 in Berkeley, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/G
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Nhat V. Meyer/Associated Press

In midfield, Ancelotti used Isco, Asier Illarramendi and Alvaro Medran as his primary trio on Saturday but may look to make adjustments, particularly to give the emerging Marcos Llorente meaningful minutes alongside some experienced teammates. 

That could see Xabi Alonso or Luka Modric take to the field for at least a half, providing balance and stability alongside more youthful counterparts.

After playing the full 90 minutes against Inter Milan, it seems Isco is being given a chance to impress amid the arrival of James Rodriguez, so it's likely the 22-year-old will be used as the most advanced midfielder once more, establishing a potential trio with Llorente and Modric or Alonso. 

Up front, Bale will almost certainly be used as a roaming forward again with Lucas Vazquez starting from the opposite side, while Ruben Sobrino and Raul de Tomas will likely share the No. 9 duties. 

 

Real Madrid Squad

Goalkeepers: Diego Lopez, Fernando Pacheco, Jesus Fernandez, Iker Casillas

Defenders: Diego Llorente, Derik Osede, Pepe, Alvaro Arbeloa, Daniel Carvajal, Fabio Coentrao, Nacho Fernandez, Sergio Ramos

Midfielders: Gareth Bale, Xabi Alonso, Isco, Asier Illarramendi, Marcos Llorente, Alvaro Medran, Lucas Vazquez, Omar Mascarell, Luka Modric

Forwards: Ruben Sobrino, Raul de Tomas, Cristiano Ronaldo

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