Real Madrid face Paris Saint-Germain and it’s a critical match for both teams. The Champions League is the only competition Madrid can win this campaign and even though they hold a 3-1 lead on aggregate, PSG will surely make things very tough for Zidane’s men.
Here’s what Zidane should deploy on the Parc des Princes.
Keylor Navas. Zidane doesn’t really have a choice considering Casilla’s performances this season.
Carvajal, Varane, Ramos and Marcelo will be defending Real’s goal and it’d be shocking otherwise. Nacho will be the first player coming off the bench if any of those four players gets injured during the game.
Here’s where it gets interesting. Modric and Kroos have just recovered from their injuries and while they both traveled with the team and completed Sunday’s training session with their teammates, it could be a bit early to start both of them in such an intense and tough game. It all comes down to how they actually feel and whether Zidane trusts what they tell him or not. Casemiro will be in front of the defensive line and it’s obvious that Modric and Kroos would start alongside him if they’re ready. If they’re not, Kovacic and Isco will likely get the starting job, with Zidane possibly considering a 4-4-2 formation with Casemiro, Kovacic, Vazquez and Asensio in the midfield line if he decides to be conservative.
It depends on what Zidane decides to do with the midfield. If the French coach deploys the 4-4-2 mentioned above, Benzema and Ronaldo will be strikers. If he plays 4-3-3 with Casemiro, Kovacic and Isco, Lucas Vazquez will likely start on one of the wings after his good performances. Still, Zidane could also go for the BBC card with Bale, Benzema and Ronaldo hoping to force PSG to care about the defensive side of the game first.
Logic says that Zidane won’t start both of his recently recovered midfielders at the same time. if that’s what happens, expect the following.
Navas, Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo, Casemiro, Kovacic, Kroos, Vazquez, Ronaldo, Benzema.
HOW TO WATCH, STREAM CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
Time: 20:45 CET, 02:45pm EST, 11:45am Pacific.
Venue: Parc Des Princes, Paris, France.
Available TV: FOX Sports 1 (USA), BT Sport 2 (UK), Antena 3 (Spain).
Available Streaming: FOX Sports GO (USA), Fubo.TV (EVERY Real Madrid game with a high-quality and legal stream, click here to sign up and benefit from a winter discount for new members and Managing Madrid readers).