Real Madrid travel to Basel trying to clinch the first spot in their Champions League group, although that could be achieved on the last match of the Champions League Group Stage, when Los Blancos will host Ludogorets in what should be an easy game.
Still, it would be a good idea to wrap everything up in order to make some rotations against Ludogorets, and that's why Carlo Ancelotti will start his best players this Wednesday. The Italian coach announced during his press conference that all Bale, Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo will be on Real's starting lineup. James and Isco should also feature, but it would make sense to rest Toni Kroos and give the recently recovered Asier Illarramendi some meaningful minutes against a decent competition. After all, FC Basel will try to win this game. The Swiss are 3 points ahead of Liverpool in the Champions League table, so if they manage to score even a single point against Ancelotti's men they would be quite set to advance to the next round.
With Pepe and Khedira out of Real Madrid's list, Raphäel Varane will start the match alongside Sergio Ramos. If Ancelotti makes more rotations, Nacho or Arbeloa could give Carvajal some rest, and the same could happen with Coentrao and Marcelo. Coentrao needs to get match fit as soon as possible considering how injury prone Marcelo is, and this match could be perfect.
It's true that FC Basel earned a good and deserved 1-0 win against Liverpool, but the Swiss side should not cause Real Madrid serious trouble. Ancelotti's pupils have recently hit their stride, and this match will surely be taken seriously by the coaching staff. That's a trend we've seen all season long, even against the weakest opponents. Expect Real Madrid to fight hard for the win, no matter who makes the starting lineup.
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Projected lineup: Casillas, Arbeloa, Varane, Ramos, Coentrao, Kroos, Isco, James, Bale, Ronaldo, Benzema.
Prediction: FC Basel 0-2 Real Madrid (Ronaldo, Benzema)