Real Madrid head to London this week to face Chelsea in the second leg of their Champions League semi-final, hoping that club captain, mascot and four-time former winner Sergio Ramos will be fit enough to play after a trauma devastated so far.
Zinedine Zidane is looking for his fourth Champions League title this season, although Real’s burden is to enter the protocol of Stamford Bridge to cancel the visit of Chelsea from the first match in Madrid, which ended 1-1 last week.
Here is a look at the initial XI that the manager can choose …
Thibaut Courtois (GK) – It could have been a hostile reception for the Belgian goalkeeper on his first return to Stamford Bridge, if fans of the stadium were allowed.
Alvaro Odriozola (RWB) – Danny Carvajal, whose injury hit the campaign, is believed to be over after another setback.
Nacho Fernandez (CB) – He continued to be a reliable assistant behind this season and will probably keep his place in the last three in the absence of Rafael Varane.
Sergio Ramos (CB) – He thought he was in good shape after overcoming injury problems and could only play his fourth game of the calendar year in all competitions. He has been proven to be the best clutch player.
Eder Militao (CB) – The Brazilian has finally had a consistent chance in recent weeks, which has seen him start every La Liga match since the beginning of April.
Ferland Mendy (LWB) – He was able to return after missing the first game and the last four games of La Liga with a calf problem and will replace the aging Marcelo on the left.
Tony Kroos (CM) “He’s resting for the weekend against Osasuna to prepare for this one.” He will want more control over the midfielder than Chelsea allowed him last time.
Luka Modric (CM) – The winner of the Golden Ball for 2018 had also rested from the midfield, as host Antonio Blanco gave a chance in this one.
Casemiro (CM) – Although established as one of the best defensive midfielders in the world, he added more goals to his game this season and is Real’s second top scorer in La Liga and in all competitions.
Karim Benzema (FW) – The goals of the veteran strikers carried Real this season. His strike against Chelsea in the first game was his 28th season in all competitions and Los Blancos simply would not have had a chance to pair with La Liga and the Champions League without him.
Vinicius Jr. (FW) – Still just 20, this is already his best season at the door since joining Real in 2018 and he has shown he can make a difference at that level when he scores twice against Liverpool.
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