Real Madrid: How They Will Line Up vs. Juventus in Champions League

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Real Madrid: How They Will Line Up vs. Juventus in Champions League
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Real Madrid will be assured of their passage to the knockout stages of the Champions League with a win in Turin against Juventus on Tuesday night.

They sit top of Group B with maximum points from their three games, with Galatasaray five points back in second and Juve seven behind in third.

On Monday morning Carlo Ancelotti announced the 22-man squad which would travel to Italy to try and get the job done.

The only notable absentee was Fabio Coentrao, who was forced off against Rayo Vallecano at the weekend with an injury.

Xabi Alonso's inclusion was the good news.

David Ramos/Getty Images

Taken off as a precaution at half-time in Vallecas on his return to the starting line-up, the team suffered in the second half as a result.

Alonso's absence has been one of the major factors in Ancelotti's inability to strike the right balance in midfield—his comeback only strengthened that point. It is now the Italian coach's job to decide who best fits into the side next to the former Liverpool midfielder.

Sami Khedira has been his favoured pick in the middle of the park this season, while Luka Modric has arguably been the most impressive individually.

Ancelotti has also confirmed it will be difficult to fit Alonso and Asier Illarramendi into the same midfield, via Marca.

With more caution expected in the home of the Old Lady, common sense would suggest Khedira will start.

At the back, Coentrao's absence means Marcelo will play at left-back, while on the other side Alvaro Arbeloa could come in for Dani Carvajal—the two have been rotated of late.

In the middle Raphael Varane may return to partner Sergio Ramos.

And, as it is a Champions League game, Iker Casillas will usurp Diego Lopez in goal.

Further forward the normal case of four from five may become four from six, with Luka Modric an option to make a three-man midfield.

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

That would mean Isco could be left to his thoughts on the bench again.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema have shown signs of developing into the front three they should be in the last week.

The Portuguese forward has scored five goals in two games, the French international three and the Welsh galactico has added two—plus four assists.

However, is Bale ready for three games in a week?

He came through 180 minutes against Sevilla and Rayo and may be better placed to make an impact off the bench against Juve.

That would leave Angel di Maria—or possibly Isco—to start on the right of the Madrid attacking unit.

Ancelotti's developed a knack of surprising with his team selections recently, though, so take nothing for granted until the teams are announced before kick-off.

 

Predicted Real Madrid XI: Iker Casillas; Alvaro Arbeloa, Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo; Xabi Alonso, Sami Khedira, Luka Modric; Angel di Maria, Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo


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