Real Madrid were held to a frustrating draw at the Bernabeu by Atletico Madrid, thanks to a last-gasp equaliser from Antoine Griezmann, that made sure that both teams shared a point each. However, they moved six points clear of the Catalan giants in the second place, with a game in hand, and look favourites to lift the domestic title. They will now face a tough trip to the Allianz Arena in the quarterfinal of the Champions League.
Zinedine Zidane’s side were drawn against Carlo Ancelotti’s Bayern Munich, in what is a battle between two of the biggest clubs in Europe. Bayern are fresh from a surprise loss over Hoffenheim but they had a few players on the sidelines as Ancelotti wants them to be fresh for this game. Both teams will go for the kill right from the start and Real will hope for a replay of the previous set of fixtures against their German opponents. Here is the predicted lineup that Zidane might field for this tie:
The Los Blancos are still without their star defender Pepe, who will miss this tie through injury. Frenchman Raphael Varane is nearing a return but he will have to undergo late tests to determine his fitness ahead of this tie.
Expected lineup up (4-3-3):
Though not at his best this season, Keylor Navas is the first-choice keeper for Zidane and should keep his place in the side for this tie. Sergio Ramos should start at the heart of the defence for Real while Nacho, who has been decent as a centre back, is expected to partner him, in the absence of Pepe and Varane in this game. Brazilian star Marcelo is one of the best, if not the best left-backs in the world and is expected to start this game. Spanish star Daniel Carvajal has been preferred in recent games and Zidane should stick with at right-back for this game.
Casemiro is back in action and was superb at the weekend against Atleti. He should start this game as the deepest of the midfielders. German star Toni Kroos is expected to partner him in the midfield as he travels to face his former club for the second time in his career. Luka Modric is also an important part of Zidane’s plans at the club and he should complete the midfield three for Real for this game.
Though Zidane might want to experiment, it is too big a game to gamble and he should go with his first choice XI for this tie. That will mean that Karim Benzema will lead the attack for the side while Gareth Bale on the right and Cristiano Ronaldo on the left will try to add a threat on the flank. This is possibly the strongest lineup that Zidane can field on the night.
Here is how they would line up: