Real Madrid are coming off a heart-breaking 1-1 draw against Atletico Madrid in last week’s Derbi, but they are ready to bounce back. With an eye on La Liga but another in Europe, Los Merengues will face their biggest challenge of the season: they will have to deal with Bayern Munich if they want to reach the UEFA Champions League semi-finals. The first leg will be played this Wednesday at Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany.
Zinedine Zidane will have almost the entire squad available for this fixture. The only two confirmed absentees are Raphäel Varane and Pepe. The French will miss this contest due to a hamstring problem, while the Portuguese defender is dealing with a rib injury. Due to this, the French tactician will have to find adequate cover at CB. Varane and Pepe have rotated to partner with Sergio Ramos during the season.
Despite the two absentees, Los Blancos will have a very strong squad for this contest because no one else will miss the contest.
The Soccer News team has prepared a predicted line-up and formation Real Madrid are expected to field this Wednesday.
Even though Kiko Casilla has looked decent when given the chance, Keylor Navas will start. The Costa Rican remains Zidane’s first option between the posts, and that’s not going to chance for one of the biggest games of the season.
In front of him, Zidane will employ his usual four-men defensive line. Dani Carvajal will slot on the right side, and Marcelo will handle the opposite flank. The main doubt lies on who will partner with Sergio Ramos at CB, although Nacho seems to have the advantage to crack the starting XI.
Moving towards midfield, Zidane is not likely to change what has worked throughout the season. Casemiro will slot as the defensive midfielder, while Toni Kroos and Luka Modric will stand as central midfielders with a bit of creative freedom. The good thing for Zidane is that he has a lot depth in this role, because the likes of James Rodriguez and Mateo Kovacic will wait for their chance coming off the bench.
Similar to what happens in midfield, I don’t expect Zidane to make many changes in the final third. Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo should get another chance to play upfront, despite the fact that Alvaro Morata and Isco have been in-form during recent weeks.
It is hard to argue with Benzema, Bale and Ronaldo starting, though. Benzema leads the team’s scoring list in the Champions League with five goals, while Ronaldo has two goals and five assists. Bale only has scored twice, but there is no question his sole presence represents an additional threat to opposing defences.
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