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The most exciting club football tournament, the UEFA Champions League is back and the reigning champions are expected to start their campaign with a bang against minnows APOEL Nicosia on Wednesday. The La Duodecima winners are the most decorated team in Champions League history and will be looking to become the first club to win three Champions League titles consecutively – a near impossible feat.
Real Madrid are in a pretty tight group this season with heavyweights like Tottenham Hotspur and Borussia Dortmund but their tournament begins with a rather easy game against Cypriot champions, APOEL FC at the Bernabeu. Zidane’s men will be hoping to get back on track after a disappointing start to their La Liga campaign. Los Blancos are currently at 6th position after disappointing draws against Valencia and Levante.
Considering the fact that Madrid need a boost of morale, Zidane might consider fielding a pretty strong line-up. Let’s have a look at the probable lineup.
The Costa Rican is the undisputed No. 1 for Real Madrid and should start the game tomorrow.
The Spaniard was responsible for his side conceding the first goal of the game against Levante this past weekend and the right-back will look at the Champions League game as an opportunity to get back to his comfort zone.
The leader, the captain and the defensive rock of Real Madrid. Ramos will be hoping to lift yet another Champions League trophy as the captain of the side.
The young French centre-back will be raring for a start in the first Champions League fixture of the season, after he was benched in favour of Nacho for the game against Levante.
The Brazilian left-back was a fundamental part of last season’s successful campaign and will be looking to repeat the same this season. The red card in the previous game against Levante will give him an added impetus to perform well.
Casemiro was benched by Zidane last game, who favoured a rather experimental line-up against Levante.
The German midfield star had a pretty solid game against Levante and is so fundamental to Real’s midfield supremacy.
Real Madrid missed the inevitable presence of Luka Modric in the midfield in their previous outing against Levante. They will expect the former Spurs star to pull the strings as usual.
Despite missing a lot of chances against Levante, Gareth Bale had a good game. He showed a lot of attacking intent and pressed his opponents well. Zidane might urge him to display a similar attitude against APOEL as well.
The superstar will make an appearance for Real Madrid after a long time as he is currently serving a 4-match ban in La Liga. And boy! have Real Madrid missed his exquisite presence up front. The Portuguese goal machine will be eager to get on the scoresheet.
The Spaniard is on a blistering run of form and will be eager to make a statement in the first Champions League match of the season.