The only remaining thing for Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti to do ahead of the Champions League clash at Schalke tonight is deciding who will partner Toni Kroos and Isco in midfield.
Real Madrid are suffering from an injury crisis in the midfield. While Luka Modric is a long-term absentee, Madrid have recently lost James Rodriguez and Sami Khedira.
The Colombian had his foot broken in 2-1 victory against Sevilla on February 4, while Khedira suffered a hamstring injury in the 4-0 loss at Atletico Madrid three days later.
In the match against Deportivo la Coruna last weekend, Ancelotti opted for Asier Illarramendi to fill to void left by James and Khedira.
The Spanish midfielder failed to impress, though, and he was substituted in the 71st minute. It is no secret that Illarramendi will have to face a mountainous task to get his manager's confidence back.
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Lucas Silva could start
Illarramendi's loss is Lucas Silva's gain. The Brazilian midfielder, who was brought from Cruzeiro for £11.5 million in the winter transfer window, was precisely the man who came on to replace Illarramendi.
Silva immediately brought luck to the team, as just two minutes into his debut, Real Madrid scored through Benzema to seal a 2-0 win.
During his 20 minutes on the pitch, Silva looked comfortable with the ball, and well maintained his composure under great pressure from Deportivo's midfielders.
It is of course still too soon to draw out anything from his performance. Yet if the 22-year-old could raise himself up from that promising debut, he will surely get a lot of playing time in the coming weeks.
And it should not be a surprise if Ancelotti names him in the starting XI of Real Madrid at Schalke tonight.
Will Real Madrid beat Schalke this evening? Post your score predictions in the comments below.
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