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

Samuel Marsden@@samuelmarsdenFeatured ColumnistNovember 26, 2013

GLENDALE, AZ - AUGUST 01:  Marcelo Fazzio Sarvas #8 of the Los Angeles Galaxy attempts to control the ball against Casimiro #26 of Real Madrid during the first half of the International Champions Cup match at University of Phoenix Stadium on August 1, 2013 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Real Madrid welcome Galatasaray to the Bernabeu on Wednesday evening with the cushion of a six point lead at the top of their Champions League group, and the knowledge that a point will see them qualify as group winners.

Carlo Ancelotti will be thankful that the pressure if off.

The Italian was without a recognised left back at the weekend, while he's also lost Sami Khedira for six months and Raphael Varane is struggling to put two games together.

On top of that, Cristiano Ronaldo was taken off in the 5-0 win against Almeria on Saturday, and he won't feature against the Turkish side.

Despite that, Madrid fans are still planning on dishing out thousands of Ronaldo masks to be worn at the match.

The Daily Mail suggest up to 45,000 will be worn as Madridistas set about showcasing their support for Ronaldo to be named Ballon d'Or ahead of Franck Ribery.

It all means that Ancelotti could end up fielding a much changed side come kick off.

TURIN, ITALY - NOVEMBER 05:  Iker Casillas of Real Madrid in action during the UEFA Champions League Group B match between Juventus and Real Madrid  at Juventus Arena on November 5, 2013 in Turin, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Iker Casillas will take his place in between the sticks as he continues his run as the club's Champions League goalkeeper, while Sergio Ramos and Pepe, with Varane confirmed by AS to be missing for at least another 12 days, will presumably be the central defensive pairing.

With Marcelo and Fabio Coentrao not being rushed backalthough the Brazilian has been named in the squad for the matchAlvaro Arbeloa and Dani Carvajal should be Los Blancos' two full backs.

In midfield, Ancelotti hinted at the pregame press conference that Xabi Alonso won't necessarily feature, via Phil Kitromilides (@PhilKitro):

"We might rest Xabi tomorrow."

That could open the door for Casemiro to slot in alongside Asier Illarramendi, with Isco likely to play alongside them or slightly further forward, pending a 4-3-3 or a 4-2-3-1.

Luke Modric is suspended.

Another option could be Angel di Maria in the middle of the park. Ancelotti pointed out that it is a job he has done previously for Argentina, while also featuring centrally for Madrid this season.

Although Spanish newspaper AS suggest that either Di Maria or Jese Rodriguez will fill the role vacated by Ronaldo on the left of Madrid's attack, with Ancelotti confirming he prefers using Bale on the right:

"I prefer him [on the right] so that he can shoot. I prefer my wingers to be able to cut inside on to their stronger foot."

The Italian was keen to point out that Madrid will not be complacent against Galatasaray though, suggesting that Karim Benzema, rather than Alvaro Morata, will continue as the side's No. 9.

Youngster Jose Rodriguez has been named in the squad, and could feature off the bench at some stage during the match.

Predicted Real Madrid XI: Iker Casillas; Dani Carvajal, Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Alvaro Arbeloa; Casemiro, Asier Illarramendi; Gareth Bale, Isco, Angel di Maria; Karim Benzema


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