Toni Kroos is back in contention while Eden Hazard and Eduardo Camavinga should start when Real Madrid face Sheriff Tiraspol in the UEFA Champions League.
Real Madrid will be aiming to extend their unbeaten run in the 2021/22 season when they face off against Moldovan outfit Sheriff Tiraspol in Group D of the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday night at Santiago Bernabeu.
Heading into the game, Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has been handed a boost as star midfielder Toni Kroos has returned from injury and made the cut for the squad. However, Los Blancos continue to be without Gareth Bale, Dani Carvajal, Dani Ceballos, Marcelo and Ferland Mendy are all unavailable, with the latter edging closer to a return.
“He’s doing pretty well, we’ve now got two games and I think we’ll use the international break to get him back up to speed to be able to play after the break,” Ancelotti said about the Frenchman during his pre-match press conference. The manager is likely to make a few changes to give some rest to a few players in a tie that Real Madrid are expected to win comfortably.
However, no alterations are expected in goal where Thibaut Courtois ought to continue ahead of Andriy Lunin yet again. The budding centre-back partnership of Eder Militao and David Alaba needs constant game-time to flourish, so Ancelotti is unlikely to tinker with that on Tuesday night either.
There should, however, be changes in the full-back slots with Federico Valverde, who started as a makeshift right-back at the weekend against Villarreal, getting a breather. In his stead, Lucas Vazquez should line up at right-back while Nacho ought to make way for youngster Miguel Gutierrez out on the left.
Changes are expected in the middle of the park as well, with Marco Asensio, who has started each of the last two matches, likely to drop out, so that Isco gets a rare start against Sheriff Tiraspol. Casemiro looked slightly jaded in the last game and can do with a bit of rest as well, with the Brazilian likely to make way for Eduardo Camavinga on the night.
While Kroos is back fit and available, he is unlikely to be rushed back into the starting XI. Instead, Luka Modric is expected to hold on to his spot as the third central midfielder, with Kroos getting some minutes off the bench. Youngster Antonio Blanco is also an option for Ancelotti, should he decide to go heavy on the rotation.
Up top, Luka Jovic could be in contention to feature as the No. 9 role, but Ancelotti is likely to continue with his star man Karim Benzema and hope to get the job done quickly before affording him some rest. The same is likely to apply for Vinicius Junior on the left flank after his explosive start to the season. The final slot, though, could see a change with Eden Hazard getting a start in place of Rodrygo Goes.
Real Madrid Predicted XI: Courtois, Vazquez, Militao, Alaba, Gutierrez, Modric, Camavinga, Isco, Hazard, Benzema, Vinicius.