Real Madrid-Napoli team news: James starts, Isco out


Real Madrid-Napoli team news: James starts, Isco out

Cristiano ronaldo training ahead of the Napoli game

Emilio Naranjo


The Santiago Bernabeu is the destination tonight as Real Madrid and Zinedine Zidane try to grab a goal and look to keep their visitors scoreless in the Champions League last 16 first leg.

Zinedine Zidane and Real Madrid get their Champions League campaign back underway and will face Napoli in their last 16 first round tie at the Santiago Bernabeu. Napoli, a side unbeaten in 13 in Serie A and beaten only four times all season, will possibly try to struggle for a draw and work on the counter against their hosts tonight. Sarri, Napoli's secret weapon, has been given some tips on how to beat Real Madrid by their former manager Fabio Capello, and as we gear up for the game, we try to interpret what both managers are aiming to do by looking at their selected XIs.

Real Madrid

Zinedine Zidane is without Gareth Bale but Cristiano Ronaldo starts despite missing training earlier in the week alongside Karim Benzema, who is not having the best season in front of goal. He has also gone for James Rodriguez possibly pushing further forward than his other midfield colleagues in Modric, Kroos and Casemiro. It was suggested that Isco would start but Zidane, as he has done before, springs a surprise and obviously want Real Madrid to win this game tonight and won't be happy with a draw.

Starting XI

Real Madrid: Navas, Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo, Casemiro, Kroos, James, Modric, Benzema, Ronaldo.

Callejon attends a news conference before Real Madrid game.

Football Soccer - Napoli news conference - UEFA Champions LeagueCallejon attends a news conference before Real Madrid game.


Maurizio Sarri has opted for 19-year-old Amadou Diawara alongside Piotr Zielinski with the Polish midfielder scoring against Genoa last week in Serie A. Aside from that, it is business as usual as Callejón gets his start back at the Santiago Bernabeu and Belgian sensation Mertens starts up front, accompanied ably by Hamsik playing at number 10.

Starting XI

Napoli: Reina, Hysaj, Koulibaly, Albiol, Ghoulam, Zieliński, Diawara, Hamšík, Callejón, Mertens, Insigne.

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