With La Liga getting more and more difficult to win, Real Madrid meet AS Roma for the second leg of their UEFA Champions League clash. The 0-2 win in the away game makes for a good cushion for Real, yet the Italians won’t give up on their chances of making it to the quarter-finals. The Santiago Bernabéu will be a nice advantage for intimidating the rivals, as conceding goals is the big thing to avoid.
Preferred Formation: 4-2-3-1
Zinedine Zidane has used the youth system talent to make up for suspensions and injuries. Men like Lucas Vázquez, Borja Mayoral and Casemiro have shown the manager that they do have what it takes to play. The squad is slowly getting back to its full health, making the competition in each position more exciting. This comes at the right time, as the final sprint of the season has arrived.
GK: Keylor Navas
The Costa Rican is in top shape, as he’s making some incredible saves. Nevertheless, he should work hard to keep more clean sheets. The Champions League opens many doors when you don’t concede.
RB: Dani Carvajal
The right back makes a good partnership with Lucas Vázquez, as they both watch each other’s back when moving box to box. He’ll have to get readjusted as Gareth Bale will now occupy the attacking spot.
The Portuguese has been doing a decent job since he returned. Captain Sergio Ramos is one yellow card away from missing the next round. As the rival is still unknown, it’s best to keep him from getting suspended.
CB: Raphaël Varane
He didn’t play a single minute last weekend, so he has it all to come back for the UCL. His speed would’ve helped greatly in Celta’s goal. It’s clear that he’s ahead of his competition at the moment.
He came back after his injury on Saturday and is expected to start on Tuesday. He’s a positive influence for the attack, making his presence very important. He should be watchful of leaving the defense too open for the opponents.
RCM: Luka Modrić
Normally he’s an essential part of the team, yet his teammates survived rather well without him. He trained with the group again, so he will be available. He has more chances of playing than Kroos.
LCM: Toni Kroos
At the last minute he had to skip the last La Liga game. His form has suffered a bit in the past weeks. Casemiro is gaining back the importance he lost when Zidane took charge. The German isn’t a safe bet.
RW: Gareth Bale
He came back after almost two months away from the pitch, and he did so in a triumphant way with a great goal. Without Benzema, the BBC is still incomplete, but the Welsh can be a great addition for the attack.
CAM: Mateo Kovačić
The Croatian is showing his best side recently, and he his odds of starting are very good. Zizou seems to have lost confidence in James and Isco isn’t playing as well as he’s able to.
LW: Cristiano Ronaldo
His four goals against Celta de Vigo on Saturday have earned him praise. However, this hardly makes up for his lack of goals in crucial games. What really matters in the end is the number of titles won, so he must strive to repeat his Celta performance as much as he can.
ST: Borja Mayoral
The youngster has surprised fans and his teammates. With Benzema still out for a couple of weeks, it’s only fair to give him another opportunity. Jesé may be up for it as well, still it will be up to the manager to decide.