The switch to a more conventional 4-4-2 formation paid off for Carlo Ancelotti and Co at Stamford Bridge last week, with Karim Benzema playing again in a memorable 3-1 triumph for Los Blancos.
Federico Valverde played on the right side of midfield that night, giving Vinicius Junior a free role around Benzema in the lead. While a three-man midfield is usually Madrid’s go-to system, Ancelotti – belatedly allowed to feature for last week’s post-Covid win – can be content with trying to repeat his first-leg feat at the Bernabeu .
For the weekend’s 2-0 win over Getafe in La Liga, Real gave rest to Dani Carvajal, Ferland Mendy, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos.
Eden Hazard (ankle), Isco (back) and Luka Jovic (ankle) missed both the first leg and Saturday’s game, and will be out again tonight. Eder Militao is suspended at the back.
On Monday, Madrid confirmed their 23-man matchday squad with Mendy fit to return from a muscle problem and Castilla defender Rafa Marin also called up.
Predicted Real Madrid XI (4-4-2): Courteous; Carvajal, Nacho, Alaba, Mendy; Valverde, Kroos, Casemiro, Modric; Vinicius, Benzema.