Real Madrid have a big problem to deal with ahead of the Champions League final 2014, replacing Xabi Alonso.The midfielder was suspended for the final after having been booked for a challenge in the second leg of the semi-final against Bayern Munich.
Although Carlo Ancelotti said that Illaramendi would be the natural replacement for Xabi Alonso, it might not be wise to start him against Atletico Madrid.This is not to undermine the potential of Illaramendi though.He is indeed a natural replacement of Alonso but against physical and high pressing opponents like Dortmund,Atletico madrid he seemed to have struggled to set the tempo of the Real Madrid game.This was particularly evident in the game against Dortmund at Signal Iduna Park, a game in which Casemiro after being brought on kept the Dortmund midfield at bay for some extent. Casemiro's physicality is a huge advantage for him.Technically he might not be as good as Illara but in a game where there are no favourites it is essential for the player to stop the quick counter attacks of Atletico Madrid. Khedira is a better replacement but considering he's been out injured for six months,Ancelotti might not risk him in such a big match.
Even though I'd pick Illara over casemiro anyday, I think Casemiro should start the Final.Let's hope for the suspension on Alonso to be lifted but if it isn't we have to wait till 24th May to find out who Ancelotti picks in his starting eleven.