Real Madrid are entering their final weeks of preparation before entering La Liga live against Athletic Club.
The countdown has begun for Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid 3.0. In a week, the Merengues will face Athletic in San Mames (9:30 pm) for their first league game, after a poor end to the tour in the United States, to measure the team’s level of play in official competition. is an important test. With losses against Barcelona (3–0) and Juventus (3–1).
In addition to taking the three points to get La Liga off to a good start, Los Blancos need to perform well on one of the toughest grounds in the league. Despite recent positive results at San Mames, it has never been an easy spot for the Bilbao Whites, who will be without Karim Benzema this time, and with new faces from Fran Garcia and Bellingham in the starting XI.
uncertainty with 4-4-2
Suspicion looms large over the system, too fragile in defense (8 goals conceded in four friendlies) and offensive efficiency half-baked (1 goal in 63 shots in last two games). These figures, which may materialize in pre-season, are of less concern than the players’ adaptation to the new 4–4–2 diamond formation.
The Italian coach insisted on this formation with mixed results in all four friendlies of the tour and Jude Bellingham as playmaker.
Ancelotti: ‘Real Madrid continued on their way without Cristiano, without Bale… they will continue without Benzema’
– Real France (@realfrance_fr)
29 July 2023
Ancelotti insisted on several occasions, “The team will have to adapt to the quality of Bellingham. He is a very complete midfielder who makes more of a difference as a playmaker than as an inside midfielder.” Without Benzema, the man around whom Madrid’s play revolved after Cristiano’s departure, the Italian understood he needed to reinvent the game and chose Bellingham and Vinicius as his team’s new attacking leaders.
Always flexible and open to dialogue, the Reggio coach made it clear that he would not rule out returning to his classic 4-3-3 or trying another formula if the 4-4-2 didn’t work during the first official matches. Used to do Aware of the lack of defensive balance, the technician said, “We will only make changes if the players are not comfortable.”