Predicted Real Madrid Line-up To Face Barcelona In La Liga
Real Madrid will lock horns with their arch-rivals Barcelona in the first El Clasico of the 2017/18 La Liga season, at the Santiago Bernabeu, on Saturday.
The Galacticos are languishing at 4th place in the La Liga standings, 11 points behind leaders Barcelona and will be keen on getting one over their foes and reduce the gap at the top.
Zinedine Zidane’s men will be on a high coming on the back of another FIFA Club World Cup triumph in Saudi Arabia this past weekend and will look to carry that momentum against the Catalans.
There are no fresh injury concerns for Los Blancos to contend with, while they have been handed several boosts, with the return of Raphael Varane from injury. Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal and Casemiro have returned from their suspensions as well. There were fears over the availability of star man Cristiano Ronaldo, after he was spotted training alone during the week, but he is expected to be fit and ready for the game.
Here’s how the twelve-time European champions could take the field on Saturday:
Manager: Zinedine Zidane
Keylor Navas (GK)
The Costa Rican international will take his rightful place between the sticks for the reigning Spanish champions against Barca.
Dani Carvajal (RB)
The Spanish full-back will return from his one-match suspension and resume his duties on the right-hand side of the back four, in place of Achraf Hakimi.
Raphael Varane (CB)
Having missed the last La Liga game due to injury, the Frenchman is fit again and was involved in the FIFA Club World Cup. Should retain his place in the line-up.
Sergio Ramos (CB)
Having served a one-match ban for his red card against Athletic Bilbao, club captain Sergio Ramos should return to the starting XI to partner Varane.
On the left-hand side of the defence, Brazilian international Marcelo will keep his spot in the starting setup. Will have a key role to play with his forward forays.
Luka Modric (CM)
One of the best in the business in his position, Croatian midfielder Luka Modric will need to be at his best for Madrid to come away with a win.
Another player who was suspended for the last La Liga encounter against Sevilla, Casemiro should make a comeback to the side, in the holding midfield role.
Toni Kroos (CM)
Found the net in the 5-0 win over Sevilla and will be keen on having a telling impact on the proceedings against Ernesto Valverde’s men.
In the hole behind the two strikers, Spanish playmaker Isco could receive the nod ahead of the fit-again Gareth Bale.
Karim Benzema (ST)
The Frenchman has just found the back of the net on two occasions in the La Liga this term but continues to enjoy the trust of the manager. Should start in this big game.
Cristiano Ronaldo (ST)
May not have been in the best of forms in the La Liga, but the brace against Sevilla, followed by two very important goals in the Club World Cup will have got him all fired up. Will be the biggest threat going forward.