The mother of all the games, the UEFA Champions League final for the ultimate European glory is almost upon us as Real Madrid take on Atletico Madrid at one of the biggest stages in world football in Milan.
It is a replay of the same game just a couple of years ago when Real Madrid triumphed over their local opponents to run away with what was their 10th Champions League trophy in their history. This game is all set to be a thriller and let’s hope that it lives up to its expectations.
The manager of the Real Madrid team, Zinadine Zidane would have been disappointed after star player Cristiano Ronaldo picked up a knock in a recent training session. However, the Portuguese assured his fans that he will be 100% fir for the final against Atleti. Raphael Varane is the only other absentee from the squad leaving Ramos and Pepe in the centre of the defense for this game.
Here is the strongest line-up Madrid can field for the final.
The Real Madrid shot-stopper has been tremendous this season keeping the highest number of clean sheets in the competition and will start this game at Milan.
Regarded by many as a weak link, Carvajal has been superb at times for the side and will be handed in a start for the final.
The skipper of the side, Ramos will have to be calm and composed and should stay strong at the back against the likes of Antonie Griezmann and Fernando Torres.
His partner in crime, Pepe, will also have a huge role to play and will have keep his aggression in control to try and give Madrid a great chance at victory.
The Brazilian has been exceptional in both halves of the field this season and will surely play an important role on the night.
Arguably one of the best mid-fielders in La Liga at the moment, Toni Kroos will have his work cut out against an energetic Atleti side at Milan.
Zidane has often turned to Casemiro for some solidarity in the mid-field and will again hand him a start against Atleti on Saturday.
Another silky mid-field player who can make things happen from nowhere, Modric, will hope to control the mid-field against Atleti on the night.
In-form Gareth Bale will be raring to go and face his cross-town rivals at Milan and will hope to have an impact or even win his team the game and the trophy.
Always consistent in important games, Real Madrid’s striker Benzema will have a huge role to play in front of goal against Atletico Madrid.
Arguably the best player in the world at the moment, Ronaldo, picked up a recent injury and may not be at his fittest on the night but could still be the difference between the two sides.
Diego Simeone will be pleased that he will not have any star players missing through injury for this game. Unlike Costa and Turan who missed out the last Champions League final a couple of years ago, the manager now has a fully fit squad to pick from including mid-fielder Tiago who is back in the squad after a 6 month injury lay-off.
Here is the expected line-up for Atletico Madrid to face Real Madrid in the final:
Keeping more clean sheets than goals conceded, Oblak has statistically been the best goal-keeper in the recent domestic season and will surely have his work cut out against Real Madrid.
One of the most accomplished wing-backs in the game, Juanfran will have to be at his best against the likes of Ronaldo top help his side to a Champions League victory.
Another player who has been exceptional in his position, Godin will be up against a top class striking attack and will need to stay focused to keep them away from harm’s reach.
His partner in defense, Giminez, has also been exceptional at the back as Atleti have made themselves a hard team to score against.
Sticks to his task and hardly found wanting, Filipe Luiz will be up against the exploding Gareth Bale on the night in what could be a match deciding clash on the flank.
Showed his ability in the previous rounds of the competition and will play an important role in the mid-field for Atleti on the night.
One of the most experienced players in the squad, Gabi, will need to be at his very best sitting in front of the defense to keep Real away from their goal.
Another experienced head in the mid-field Koke, will surely help Atleti keep hold of the ball and roll over possession in the middle of the park under pressure.
Has been a constant presence for the side on the wing throughout the season and will play an important role in converting defense into attack from the middle of the field.
With more than 50 goals this season, Griezmann has been in the form of his life for Atleti and will surely be charged up for this ultimate battle.
Rolling back the years at times, Torres has shown that he has still got what it takes to dazzle the opponents and will have a huge role to play on the night.