After two training matches, against Fuenlabrada and Rayo Vallecano, Real Madrid will play their first pre-season friendly against Rangers in Glasgow this evening. It’ll be an intriguing test, note Marca, given Carlo Ancelotti has begun to take decisions and shape his team in his image.
There are six players that Ancelotti needs to take a decision on. Isco returned for pre-season in superb shape, determined to regain prominence under Ancelotti after falling out of favour toward the tail end of the Zinedine Zidane era. His contract does expire next summer, however, so a sale is still possible.
Marcelo, named captain following the departure of Sergio Ramos, is similarly enthused by the Italian’s return and determined to win back his starting role after a subpar campaign in 2020/21. Martin Odegaard, back after a loan spell with Arsenal, is similarly determined to break into that hyper-competitive midfield three of Casemiro, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos. He forced a loan last winter after being frustrated by a lack of opportunities.
Luka Jovic wants to stay at Madrid, but the club have been open internally in putting him on the market. Given their problems in the centre-forward position, however, a good pre-season from the Serbian could help his cause. Rodrygo, rallying from a season marked by injury, has his work cut out for him to get into that front three but the Brazilian will back himself to do so.
Alvaro Odriozola has been left in a difficult situation following the renewal of Lucas Vazquez and the return of Dani Carvajal from injury. He has options to leave, but there’s also a chance he could win a place in Ancelotti’s squad. This evening’s clash in Scotland could go a long way to shedding light on the Italian’s plans.