David Alaba is likely to return, but Rodrygo Goes will have to settle for a place on the bench when Real Madrid face Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League final.
Real Madrid will square off against Premier League heavyweights Liverpool in the final of the 2021/22 UEFA Champions League at Stade de France on Saturday night.
Heading into the blockbuster finale, Real Madrid have received an injury boost as David Alaba, who has not featured over the past month, has returned to training and is in contention to feature in France against the Reds. Los Blancos have no other injury issues for the game as Carlo Ancelotti looks to deliver La Decimocuarta to the Spanish capital giants.
The manager has opted to rest and rotate his players in the last few games leading up to the final, ensuring that his key stars are in fine fettle heading into the clash against Liverpool. Thibaut Courtois will line up as usual between the sticks and look to keep out the Liverpool forwards.
The returning Alaba should start at the heart of the defence alongside Eder Militao. Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy are certainties to feature as full-backs on the right and left sides, respectively. They will have their tasks cut out against the deadly Liverpool duo of Luis Diaz and Mohamed Salah.
Midfield will pose a conundrum for Ancelotti, considering how brilliantly Eduardo Camavinga has been performing in recent matches. However, the manager is likely to bank on the experienced trio of Luka Modric, Casemiro and Toni Kroos yet again. The young Frenchman will likely be used as a substitute in the latter stages of the contest.
Moving into the attack, Karim Benzema is a shoo-in in the No. 9 role. The Frenchman has been in the form of his life and his manager was full of praise for the 34-year-old on the eve of the game. “In relation to my first period, I think he’s got more character and is a better leader both on and off the pitch. His quality hasn’t changed, he’s still a top player and he’s as humble as ever,” Ancelotti said in his presser.
Out wide, Vinicius Junior is a guaranteed starter on the left flank and will look to cause Trent Alexander-Arnold problems with his pace and movement. The right-wing berth will be a toss-up between semi-final hero Rodrygo Goes and the hard-working Federico Valverde. Ancelotti, though, has tended to bank on the Uruguayan in the big games this term, and that is unlikely to change on Saturday night.
Real Madrid Predicted XI: Courtois, Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Mendy, Modric, Casemiro, Kroos, Valverde, Benzema, Vinicius.