Three Real Madrid players who must impress at Villarreal to start Champions League final

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

Zinedine Zidane will already have a very good idea of what his starting XI for the Champions League final against Liverpool will look like.

However, he’ll no doubt be mulling over his options in a few positions.

With Real Madrid facing Villarreal away from home in La Liga on Saturday night, it presents a few players with the opportunity to force their way into the manager’s plans.

DANI CARVAJAL 

Whether Cristiano Ronaldo plays well or not or even at all against Villarreal, his place in the starting line-up for the final is guaranteed as long as he is able.

The same can’t be said with such authority of Dani Carvajal’s spot as the defender also returns from injury. When fit, he is undoubtedly first choice at right-back for Los Blancos but the Spaniard has been out of action for nearly a month now.

He needs to prove his fitness and sharpness against Villarreal before Zidane can field him against Sadio Mane with complete confidence.

Achraf Hakimi has impressed of late and could fill in while Nacho remains an option.

Dani Carvajal

Dani Carvajal

ISCO

Whether or not to play Isco is always up for discussion. He’s a tremendous creative force and a real goal threat but there’s also a very specific way in which he has to be deployed against tough opposition.

It means Madrid sacrifices some width in attack with the Spaniard usually deployed in a 4-3-1-2 formation behind two forwards. They’re also left a little bit light from a defensive aspect with Isco not particularly renowned for his contributions without possession.

Given the attacking threat of Liverpool, especially from wide areas, Zidane will be considering a straight 4-3-3 instead. A fine display against Villarreal though may just shift the weights in Isco’s favour.

Isco

Isco

KARIM BENZEMA

Madrid’s first choice striker has scored just 11 times in 45 appearances this season. Regardless of Karim Benzema’s overall contribution to the team’s play, that’s a record that simply can’t be accepted at the Bernabeu.

It’s no secret that Zidane values his compatriot’s influence on games but given Gareth Bale’s recent form, he’ll have a decision to make.

If he chooses to play a 4-3-1-2 against Liverpool, Bale does indeed stake a claim to partner Ronaldo up front. Meanwhile, a 4-3-3 could also see the Welshman included on one flank with Marco Asensio on the other and Ronaldo through the middle.

Benzema’s place is hardly nailed on.

Karim Benzema.

Karim Benzema.

Most popular

Live Real Madrid Blog: Three player who must impress at Villarreal

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

Jay Asser and the rest of the Sport360 team are in place to provide you with the latest news, comment and analysis on all things Real Madrid.

Our daily blog will ensure you have all the latest updates throughout the week but we want you to get involved, too.

Tell us your thoughts on what’s happening by tweeting @Sport360.

7:00pm – Three Real Madrid players who must impress at Villarreal

Zinedine Zidane will already have a very good idea of what his starting XI for the Champions League final against Liverpool will look like.

However, he’ll no doubt be mulling over his options in a few positions.

With Real Madrid facing Villarreal away from home in La Liga on Saturday night, it presents a few players with the opportunity to force their way into the manager’s plans.

Read Brendon Netto’s piece here.

5:45pm – Real Madrid squad v Villarreal

Real Madrid have included Cristiano Ronaldo in their matchday squad to face Villarreal.

The Portuguese hasn’t played since injuring his ankle during the El Clasico 2-2 draw against Barcelona.

His return to the squad is a huge boost ahead of the Champions League final against Liverpool.

Dani Carvajal also returns to the fray.

Full squad.

3:20pm – Zidane speaks on Bale’s form

Gareth Bale has been back in the goals of late and his recent rise in form has given Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane something to ponder ahead of the Champions League final.

“He’s training well and as usual, when a player scores goals, you say that he’s better than before,” Zidane said in his presser.

Watch Zidane’s full comments on Bale here.

GarethBale

1:20pm – Zidane drops F-bomb to describe the tough squad decision he has for Champions League final

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane didn’t mince words in his presser when asked about the squad decisions that await him for the Champions League final against Liverpool.

Zidane was as candid as he could be on the enviable problem he has with figuring out which of his strong players to start in the decider on May 26 at Kiev.

Watch Zidane explain his position for yourself.

Zidane

Most popular

Related Tags

Real Madrid team news as Cristiano Ronaldo is included for Villarreal clash

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

Real Madrid have included Cristiano Ronaldo in their matchday squad to face Villarreal.

The Portuguese hasn’t played since injuring his ankle during the El Clasico 2-2 draw against Barcelona.

His return to the squad is a huge boost ahead of the Champions League final against Liverpool.

Dani Carvajal also returns to the fray.

REAL MADRID SQUAD:

Casilla and Luca; Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Nacho, Marcelo, Theo; Kroos, Modric, Casemiro, Asensio, Isco and Kovacic; Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema, Bale and Lucas Vázquez

Most popular

Related Tags