We won’t be seeing the Champions League for two more months. In order to go out with a bang, Real Madrid hope to win their sixth and final group stage match. If they do so, they will be the only team to have won all 18 points. On the other hand, Ludogorets is hoping for a series of events with the hopes of continuing their European adventure. Heavy rotation is expected for Real, although still unconfirmed.
Preferred Formation: 4-3-3
As if it wasn’t tragic enough to lose Modrić, James will possibly be out for a few matches. Carlo Ancelotti will be forced to reorganize the midfield. With options getting limited, he gave a preview of risky options with Carvajal’s midfielder role. The Italian is smart and he’ll do his best to keep the team balanced.
GK: Iker Casillas
This is the biggest doubt at the moment. Pacheco’s presence in the Copa del Rey could set up Navas for another Champions League match. Nevertheless, Iker is pursuing his own personal record. Because of this, we’ll go with the captain.
RB: Álvaro Arbeloa
While his form has drastically decreased recently, he has a good chance of playing from the start. Ludogorets actually caused some trouble in the away game, making this a night to be taken seriously.
CB: Raphaël Varane
Having three world-class defenders like Pepe, Ramos and Varane can be a blessing disguised as a problem. All of them are performing well, but only two can play at a time. With Ramos suspended, he will certainly start.
CB: Nacho Fernández
Much like in the Copa del Rey, playing the younger pair of central defenders should be sufficient. Keeping Nacho ready for action whenever needed is best for the squad. It will only get more difficult from now on, starters need to rest.
LB: Fábio Coentrão
The defensive line is definitely the one that sees the most rotation. The Portuguese has slowly entered the team’s dynamic and maintains a healthy competition with Marcelo. He should start.
Following his suspension on Saturday, he should be important in making up for James’ absence. He’s shown that he can take control of any match, and we’ll see if he can be enough to beat Ludogorets.
CM: Asier Illarramendi
Despite being considerably less popular than Isco or Modrić, Asier definitely deserves a chance. He did well against Celta, holding the midfield rather well. Many criticize his lack of bold passes, still he needs minutes and trust in order to grow.
LCM: Álvaro Medrán
It seems that James will be injured for at least a week or two. Khedira’s fitness is uncertain yet and this type of rival is ideal for youngsters. He impressed everyone with his great performance against Cornellà in the Copa del Rey.
RW: Gareth Bale
Although this should be a match to rest all key players, Ancelotti usually sticks with one or two regular ones. The coach confirmed that Jesé would play, yet he hasn’t clarified if it will be from the start or from the bench.
ST: Javier “Chicharito” Hernández
There’s absolutely no explanation as to why he doesn’t play more minutes. On the off chance that he plays a match, he rarely plays more than five or ten minutes. The right thing to do is to give him a chance on Tuesday.
LW: Cristiano Ronaldo
With the first place secured, the logical thing would be to rest the club’s star. However, with Raúl’s record still waiting to be beaten, we doubt that the Portuguese will accept missing this match.