Real Madrid will hope to continue their winning ways when they play hosts to CSKA Moscow at the Bernabeu in a Matchday 6 tie of the UEFA Champions League group stage on Wednesday night.
Los Blancos have been the team to beat in Group G for the most part, with the visitors the only side who have denied them maximum points in their campaign so far. As far as Wednesday’s clash is concerned, Santiago Solari has three players on the treatment table, while the game has come too soon for two others.
Mariano Diaz, Sergio Reguilon and Nacho are recovering from their respective injuries, and will not be a part of the proceedings against CSKA Moscow. Toni Kroos and Casemiro have returned to training, but are unlikely to be involved, and the Real Madrid boss addressed the situation during his pre-match press conference.
"We work intensively with the coaching staff, the doctors and the players so that we have the most players available for each match."
Solari could use the final group game as an opportunity to rest some of his players, while also giving a chance to some of the fringe players. These include Keylor Navas, who should replace Thibaut Courtois in the Real Madrid goal.
The back four should comprise of Alvaro Odriozola, Raphael Varane, Jesus Vallejo and Dani Carvajal. Carvajal will likely have to play as a makeshift left-back once again, especially with Marcelo only returning to training this week. And, Solari has hinted that the Br azilian full-back will be eased into the side.
"I’d like to be able to count on him soon. The most important thing is that when he returns, he’s right, and we don’t lose him again. It’s what the coaches, the doctors and the fans want. It’s not of any help to us to play a game and then not be able to play the next."
Vallejo is likely to take Sergio Ramos’ place, with the Real Madrid captain in danger of being suspended, if he is booked. In midfield, Luka Modric could be rested, with Isco taking the Croat’s place. The Spanish international has had to slog it out under Solari, but will get a rare opportunity to prove himself against CSKA Moscow.
Isco should be joined by Dani Ceballos and Marcos Llorente, who was one of two players on the receiving end of Solari’s praise. Meanwhile, up ahead in attack, Mariano’s absence means Karim Benzema will start again. But, Marco Asensio will likely be given a chance to impress, with Gareth Bale completing the lineup.