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Real Madrid's upcoming fixtures offer Ancelotti an opportunity to rest starters

Real Madrid's next six games against weaker opponents will offer Carlo Ancelotti the opportunity to rotate the team, give opportunities to fringe players and rest some starters.

Los Blancos are set to play Osasuna and Rayo Vallecano on home soil, as well as Elche and Granada on the road before a tough clash against Sevilla on November 28, with the first-choice XI set to be in place when they face Julen Lopetegui's charges.

In addition, they will be in action in the Champions League as they host Shakhtar Donetsk at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu and travel to Moldova to face Sheriff, as they look to secure their place in the last 16 of the competition.

Real Madrid managed to bounce back after their two defeats to Sheriff Tiraspol and Espanyol by recording two important victories away at Shakhtar Donetsk and Barcelona.

Ancelotti may have the opportunity to freshen up his starting line-up in the next six games, but the last two times he attempted to do so, his team were defeated by Sheriff and Espanyol.

Courtois with discomfort: Lunin could step in

Thibaut Courtois, who has not missed any of Real Madrid's last 47 league games, picked up a knock in the Clasico against Barcelona last Sunday.

Ancelotti has been contemplating resting Courtois for a while and could give Andriy Lunin the nod before Real Madrid take part in the Copa del Rey later this season.

Lunin's only official game as a Real Madrid player was last year's Copa del Rey defeat to Alcoyano and, although Courtois' injury seems to be minor, the young goalkeeper could be given a chance to play his first match at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.

Carvajal returns to action

Lucas Vazquez has stood out in the last few games in a position that is not considered to be his natural role, but Dani Carvajal has fully recovered from his injury and is expected to be given playing time as he is currently lacking match fitness.

Nacho as an alterative

Real Madrid's centre-back duo of Eder Militao and David Alaba impressed with their displays at the Camp Nou, with the latter scoring the opening goal in the Clasico against Barcelona.

Meanwhile, Nacho Fernandez is not viewed as a first-choice defender but he has already featured in four different positions under Ancelotti this season.

The Spaniard could cover for any of the two starting centre-backs, with the Italian coach hardly counting on Jesus Vallejo.

Resting Mendy

Ferland Mendy has fully recovered from an injury that sidelined him for more than five months, and he started in the crucial games against Shakhtar and Barcelona.

Ancelotti is not willing to risk any injury setback, with Marcelo, Miguel Gutierrez and Nacho being his options in the event he decides to rest Mendy.

The untouchable trio

Casemiro, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos all started in midfield against Barcelona, with Fede Valverde picking up a knock after coming off the bench in the second half.

With Valverde out injured, Ancelotti could give playing time to either Eduardo Camavinga or Antonio Blanco, while Isco and Dani Ceballos are still sidelined through injuries, with Marco Asensio also being an option as an inside midfielder.

Will Asensio and Hazard make Ancelotti doubt?

Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo Goes are currently ahead of Eden Hazard and Marco Asensio in Ancelotti's pecking order.

The Italian coach is expected to give playing time to both Asensio and Hazard in the next few games, and it remains to be seen whether they will seize the opportunities that will be potentially given to them.

Benzema has not rested since September 2019

The last time Karim Benzema didn't feature in a Real Madrid game was back in March 2021, when he missed the club's matches against Real Valladolid and Real Sociedad due to discomfort.

Benzema has played all 12 of Los Blancos' games so far this season and the last time he was rested without being injured was back on September 25, 2019, in a game against Osasuna at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.

Since then, Benzema hasn't been in the starting line-up on just six occasions: against Club Brugge, where he played 13 minutes; Sevilla (30 minutes in January 2020); Real Zaragoza (17 minutes in the Copa del Rey); Shakhtar (played the second half after Real Madrid went 3-0 down); Alcoyano; and Getafe (played for 25 minutes on April 18).

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