(Football news) After a successful last season, Real Madrid made two massive signings in the form of Antonio Rudiger and Aurélien Tchouaméni. As soon as Antonio Rudiger was signed it was clear that Ancelotti would have more defensive options to work with. On paper it looked like David Alaba and Ferland Mendy would be competing for the left back position while Antonio Rudiger, Eder Militao and David Alaba would be competing for the 2 centre back spots. In Real Madrid's first pre-season match against Barcelona, Ancelotti dropped a surprise bomb. He started a backline of Lucas Vazquez, Eder Militao, David Alaba and Antonio Rudiger. On paper it looked like Alaba would be on the left while Rudiger would be in the centre but that wasn't the case. Alaba started alongside Militao in the centre while Rudiger played on the left.
In the post match press conference, Ancelotti said that he doesn't want to break up Eder Militao and Alaba's partnership which was successful last season. He also said that Alaba will play left back only when necessary and the idea was for Rudiger and Alaba to change positions during the game. It did happen a little last season where Mendy and Alaba would interchange positions. Ancelotti has also preferred to play Alaba at centre back and right footed Nacho at left back last season as well. It's still only pre-season and things could change once the season starts and progresses. The form and fitness of the players will also play a big part in these things but the fact that Ancelotti has openly said his plans then he must definitely have a set idea for the season.
Ancelotti played in a 4-3-3 for the entirety of last season. Under Zinedine Zidane, Real Madrid would have both fullbacks very high up but Ancelotti has always preferred them to stay back. Dani Carvajal has been more attacking than Ferland Mendy. Now if Rudiger is to play at left back then he will not be contributing much in an attacking sense. He is right footed and hence won't be overlapping and crossing. The bright side of playing Alaba at left back would be his ability with the ball which Rudiger lacks. The German is very quick and can be a very good defensive full back. If Ancelotti does manage to find a way for Alaba and Rudiger to interchange positions in between games then it would be a match winning tactic.