Marco Asensio and Dani Carvajal should start, but Eden Hazard will be unavailable when Real Madrid take on his former club Chelsea in the Champions League.
Real Madrid will lock horns with reigning European champions Chelsea in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final tie at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.
Leading up to the game, the big talking for Real Madrid was surrounding their manager Carlo Ancelotti. The Italian had not returned a negative COVID-19 test and did not travel to London on Tuesday with the rest of the squad. However, on the morning of the game, the Los Blancos boss has tested negative and is flying to England.
Real Madrid confirmed the same in an official statement that read, “Real Madrid C.F. is pleased to announce that our coach Carlo Ancelotti has returned a negative result for COVID-19, and will therefore travel to London this morning to join up with the first team.”
As for injury-related absentees, Real Madrid will have to make do without former Chelsea wing-wizard Eden Hazard, whose campaign has likely come to a premature end. In addition, fellow attacker Luka Jovic also misses out for the La Liga leaders, as does Spanish playmaker Isco. However, none of them would have started at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.
The entire Real Madrid team pretty much selects itself, barring one or two positions. Former Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is an undisputed starter under the woodwork and will be hoping for a happy return to Stamford Bridge. The centre-back partnership of Eder Militao and David Alaba has excelled this term and will be persisted with by the manager.
Ferland Mendy is the undisputed first-choice left-back for Real Madrid and should start ahead of Marcelo. Lucas Vazquez started in the weekend La Liga clash against Celta Vigo on the opposite side. But the Spaniard is expected to make way for veteran star Dani Carvajal against Chelsea.
Moving into the middle of the park, no changes are expected, with the preferred first-choice trifecta of Luka Modric, Casemiro and Toni Kroos likely to take the field at Stamford Bridge. Federico Valverde and Eduardo Camavinga are more than capable alternatives for Ancelotti to call upon if things go south.
As for the attacking unit, Marco Asensio could once again edge out Rodrygo Goes for the right-wing berth. The other two slots are locked in by the talismanic Karim Benzema and young prodigy Vinicius Junior. Gareth Bale and Mariano Diaz will be options from the bench along with Rodrygo.
Real Madrid Predicted XI: Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Mendy; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Asensio, Benzema, Vinicius Jr.