Real Madrid host Schalke in the return leg of the Champions League round-of-16. Real Madrid won the first leg in Germany with a 2-0 score-line and on Tuesday, they might be looking to rest some of their key players.
In the nets, Keylor Navas might get the opportunity to start the game ahead of Casillas. The back four will consist of Arbeloa, Varane, Pepe and Coentrao could start the game in Marceloa s place as Marcelo is one yellow card away from suspension. Sergio Ramos is not yet ready to play and is not included in the squad. However, Ancelotti confirmed that Ramos will play on Sunday against Levante in the league.
In the midfield, Lucas Silva will be starting alongside Isco. Kroos, who is one yellow card away from suspension might start the game but expect him to be subbed off early in the second half, probably to bring Modric on. Sami Khedira is fit and included in the squad, but the German may not start the game.
Ancelotti said: a Khedira and Modric are on the list and I am hoping to give them minutes. Sergio will be available on Sunday. That is good news because the return of important players will help us during the final stage of the season. Modric, despite doing everything a central midfielder does, can also help to penetrate, and that unbalances opponents. I want to give him 30 minutes tomorrow.a
Upfront, it is going to definitely be Ronaldo, Bale and Benzema starting the game in their usual positions. Despite the dip in form, Ancelotti insisted that he has total confidence in the trio and the three will definitely be playing.
He said: a Yes, they are doing well, they will definitely be playing. They have given us a lot and I have total confidence in them without doubt. They have had a low point, but that is what happens, not just with the three of them.a
The coach spoke about the changes he makes in between the game and explained the formation once Jese comes on.
He said: a When I play Jes we change the 4-3-3 to 4-4-2 in order to have more space on the wings. When I play a central midfielder it is to add more balance, but I am not correcting the system. The system only changes once”.
The manager also spoke about teenage sensation Martin Odegaard and the chances of him getting some minutes for the senior team against Schalke.
He said: a He will not play against Schalke. He is doing well and sticking to his program. I don’t know how close he is to playing but he is a player with a lot of talent.a