Play Fantasy Football manager with Real’s Pellegrini

August 23, 2009

Real Madrid’s 250 million euros spending spree has left new coach Manuel Pellegrini with the kind of headache most managers could only dream of.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Karim Benzema, Xabi Alonso, Raul Albiol, Alvaro Arbeloa, Esteban Granero and Ezequiel Garay have all been added to a squad that finished second in the league under Juande Ramos last year.

Pellegrini has made the most of pre-season friendlies to experiment with players and lineups, and they have lost only once in their eight warm up games, against Juventus in the Peace Cup. They have netted 22 goals, and conceded just six.

But with only a week to go until Deportivo Coruna visit the Bernabeu for their opening game of the new Primera Liga campaign, the Chilean has yet to make it clear what his best starting 11 will be, and what formation he will play.

There is no debate over the position of goalkeeper, so Iker Casillas is easy to put first on the team sheet.

In defence he can pick from Garay, Arbeloa, Albiol, Pepe, Christoph Metzelder, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo and Miguel Torres. Royston Drenthe has performed well at fullback in the last couple of matches.

Ronaldo, Kaka and Xabi Alonso will be guaranteed a place in midfield which leaves perhaps Lassana Diarra as the fourth component of a traditional 4-4-2. Arjen Robben and Granero have impressed in pre-season games while Fernando Gago, Guti, Wesley Sneijder, Rafael van der Vaart and Mahamadou Diarra wait in the wings.

And who to play in attack? Raul has topscored with four in the pre-season friendlies, so the evergreen captain and Benzema? Last season’s top scorer Gonzalo Higuain and the returning Ruud van Nistelrooy complete the choices up front.

Assuming everyone was available, the following 4-2-3-1 formation would be a tasty lineup in front of Casillas. Ramos, Pepe, Albiol and Drenthe at the back, Alonso and Lass Diarra holding the centre midfield, leaving Ronaldo, Kaka, and Robben to support Benzema up front.

Is Pellegrini tough enough to put Raul on the bench or does the fans’ favourite have to start? If you were in the hot seat, who would you play?

8 comments

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casillas,

ramos, pepe, albiol, drenthe

ronaldo, diarra, xabi alonso, kaka

van nistelrooy, benzema

[...] to Source add it: Tags: alvaro arbeloa, arjen robben, christoph metzelder, Drenthe, Esteban Granero, [...]

So I think Pelligrini has to be bold and take a chance with his team (I’m sure he already thought of this) but here is the 4-3-3 that will never happen
casillas
ramos pepe albiol marcelo
xabi kaka diarra
higuain benzema ronaldo

or go straight for the 3-4-3
casillas
pepe albiol metzelder
ronaldo diarra xabi kaka
higuain benzema

(yes I believe in Higuain more that Robben, just because he is most underrated)
straight from nyc!

Posted by Luca Allais | Report as abusive

Casillas
Ramos Pepe Geray Marcelo
Diarra Alonso
Ronaldo Kaka Sneider
Benzima

Posted by A Borat | Report as abusive

[...] Reuters Soccer Blog » Blog Archive » Play Fantasy Football manager … Football250-million, benzema, cristiano, cristiano-ronaldo, euros-spending, fantasy, madrid, madrid-real, pellegrini, reuters, reuters-soccer [...]

I don’t envy Pellegrini having to deal with the Raul conundrum. If he doesn’t pick him he’ll get slammed by the fans, especially if their season doesn’t get going quickly enough. If he does pick him he risks upsetting one of his expensive new signings.
How much power over team selection does he have anyway, with a sporting director and a director general breathing down his neck and a powerful president lording it over the club? I have been surprised to see Pellegrini picking Drenthe. He has always seemed like a red card waiting to happen.

Posted by Iain Rogers | Report as abusive

I think it’s a bit optimistic to see Van Nistelrooy starting just yet after nine months out with injury, ‘wllmhl’ and I wouldn’t argue with you ‘Luca’ over Higuain. It’s very tough on the lad after an impressive season last year, but I think he will be on the bench more often than not.
I will post Pellegrini’s starting line up here this evening, when he names his starting XI for the Santiago Bernabau Trophy against Rosenborg.
I am sure that will reveal much about his thinking in his last warm up match before the season starts.
Sergio Ramos is injured and Van der Vaart and Sneijder have been left out as they are essentially on the transfer list. Sorry ‘A Borat’!

Posted by Mark Elkington | Report as abusive

The line up for the Bernabeu Trophy is as follows:
Casillas: Arbeloa, Albiol, Garay, Marcelo; Xabi Alonso, Lass Diarra, Ronaldo and Kaka; Benzema and Raul.
Ramos and Metzelder are injured, so with Pepe suspended for the weekend, this is likely to be the weekend’s starting XI. Raul plays once again…..

Posted by Mark Elkington | Report as abusive

Hi Mark. I see marca have followed your example a week or so later…
http://www.marca.com/2009/09/01/multimed ia/graficos/1251814731.html

Posted by Kevin Fylan | Report as abusive

casillas

ramos albiol pepe drente
(arbelola)

ronaldo l.diarra alonso kaka
(van der vaart)

benzema raul

Posted by AK10 | Report as abusive