Real Madrid’s defence of their La Liga title could come to a likely end with defeat at Barcelona in El Clasico.
Despite heading into the season as favourites to retain their crown, Los Blancos sit nine points behind their rivals in the table and they are running out of time to close that gap.
Pressure is on Carlo Ancelotti to deliver silverware before the end of the campaign – falling 12 points behind Barça could be fatal to his chances of staying beyond the summer.
Here’s the lineup he could select to take on Barcelona.
GK: Thibaut Courtois – Kept a clean sheet in Wednesday’s 2-0 win against Liverpool in the Champions League, extinguishing the Reds’ hopes of a comeback with some top saves.
RB: Dani Carvajal – Almost right-back by default nowadays.
CB: Eder Militao – Ancelotti will be thankful Militao won’t have to travel too far this international break, with Brazil’s only game coming away at Morocco in a friendly.
CB: Antonio Rudiger – David Alaba’s hamstring injury means Rudiger will likely start in his favoured centre-back role.
LB: Nacho Fernandez – The man for the big occasion. Or the man for the occasion when no one else is available. Take your pick.
DM: Aurelien Tchouameni – It was interesting that Eduardo Camavinga started in this role against Liverpool, though it remains Tchouameni’s spot to lose.
CM: Luka Modric – The man for the big occasion. That’s it.
CM: Toni Kroos – Only a couple of bouts of flu and a suspension have kept Kroos out of the starting lineup this season.
RW: Federico Valverde – The Uruguayan’s rise over the last couple of years has been astronomic.
CF: Karim Benzema – Four goals behind rival Robert Lewandowski in La Liga’s scoring charts. You can bet that Benzema will take that personally.
LW: Vinicius Junior – Nearly averaging a goal every other game this season, with 19 in 40 across all competitions for Real Madrid.