Real Madrid: How Will They Line Up Against Bayern Munich in Germany?

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Real Madrid: How Will They Line Up Against Bayern Munich in Germany?
AP

Karim Benzema’s first-half goal gives Real Madrid the most slender of leads heading into their Champions League semi-final second leg against Bayern Munich on Tuesday night.

However, equally as important, if not more so than the Frenchman’s strike was that Los Blancos managed to record a clean sheet at the Bernabeu.

It means that if they can score, Bayern will need to score three to progress to the showpiece final in Lisbon.

And in his pre-match press conference on Monday evening, Carlo Ancelotti seemed certain that Madrid will be able get the goal that will hamper the Germans' progress, per @dermotmcorrigan:

Our intention is to try and score. That is our quality; we have scored many goals in the Champions League and in La Liga.

Matthias Schrader

Other than long-term absentees Alvaro Arbeloa, Jese Rodriguez and Sami Khedira, Madrid travelled to Munich with everyone else available.

Ancelotti was unwilling to reveal his starting XI nor give many clues, but he did add, per @realmadriden, that "the good news is that the entire team is in a good physical and mental state."

One certainty is that Iker Casillas will start in goal.

Ahead of him three of the four positions in Madrid’s back four should be equally as certain: Dani Carvajal, in the absence of Arbeloa, will start at right-back, while the experienced pair of Sergio Ramos and Pepe will begin the match centrally.

Left-back is, potentially, not as easy to predict due to the run of form Fabio Coentrao has been on.

Kerstin Joensson

The Portuguese full-back was magnificent during the first 90 minutes against Bayern, and Marcelo has admitted, per Marca (in Spanish), that the competition will only serve as a good thing for the club.

Despite that, the Brazilian could return to Ancelotti’s starting lineup on Tuesday night.

Five of the front six then picks itself almost, with the only doubt being whether Gareth Bale will be deemed fit and well enough to take his place on the right of Madrid’s front three.

Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored two crackers against Osasuna at the weekend, will start on the left in search of the goal which will make him the player to have scored most goals in one edition of the Champions League.

Benzema will start inside him.

If Bale is not thrown in by Ancelotti, then Angel Di Maria will complete the front three.

If, as expected, the Welshman does make the cut, though, Di Maria is likely to drop back to midfield, meaning there will be no place for Isco.

Manu Fernandez

Of course, it’s not certain that Di Maria will play at this stage, but Ancelotti did give a strong hint that he would on Monday evening, per @realmadriden:

Di Maria has had a fantastic season. He is a very important player because I can use him in different positions.

The final two spots in midfield will be filled by two players who have been near-enough ever-presents since Khedira’s injury: Xabi Alonso and Luka Modric.

Madrid will hope that an XI which includes Ronaldo and Bale will be able to breach the Bavarians' back line, although Ancelotti didn’t think a defensive approach would signal the end of the world.

"Catenaccio is not a bad word," he smiled at the end of his press conference, per @realmadriden.

 

Predicted Real Madrid XI: Iker Casillas; Dani Carvajal, Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo; Xabi Alonso, Luka Modric, Angel Di Maria; Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo

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