Zinedine Zidane has travelled with a full-strength squad as Real Madrid get set to take on Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday.
It’s a clash of the traditional European powerhouses as Bayern Munich and Real Madrid prepare to lock horns in the UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday. Both sides progressed to the Last 4 stage with narrow aggregate wins in the quarter-finals and can brace themselves for similar tests in the semis.
Zinedine Zidane though, does not just have the luxury of having a full week to prepare for Bayern, but also boasts a clean bill of health as he takes a full-strength squad to Munich, The Real Madrid manager iterated the same in his pre-match press conference, claiming that his men are highly motivated to reach a third successive final.
“Every player likes to be involved in these kinds of games. We’re in good shape, both mentally and physically. We’re ready to put in a good performance. It’s not as easy when you play in a competition in which the motivation levels aren’t as high. In these types of games we’ll be 150% up for, there’s no question about that.”
Keylor Navas should start in goal once again, and the Real Madrid number one will look to make amends after playing a big part in his side’s 3-1 loss in the quarter-final second leg. Ahead of him, Zidane can welcome captain Sergio Ramos back into contention, after he missed the second leg earlier this month.
Joining Ramos at the heart of the Real Madrid defence, should be birthday boy Raphael Varane, while the fit again Nacho is likely to make the bench. First-choice full-backs Dani Carvajal and Marcelo are likely to flank Ramos and Varane, bombing up and down their respective flanks.
The midfield trio pick themselves up, with Luka Modric, Casemiro and former Bayern Munich man Toni Kroos set to line up alongside each other in the middle of the park. Isco should form the base of the attack once again, as he has more often than not in the Champions League this season.
Upfront, Cristiano Ronaldo will be aiming to make it 12 successive games on the score sheet, while also continuing his fine scoring run against Bayern. Joining him in attack, should be Karim Benzema, who will aim to use his link-up abilities to stretch the Bayern defence on the night.