CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Real Madrid team news, possible starting XI against Inter Milan

Real Madrid kick off their Champions League campaign with a Group D clash against Inter Milan at the San Siro on Wednesday.

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Real Madrid team news, possible starting XI against Inter Milan

The San Siro, the scene of Real Madrid’s 11th European Cup win, is Los Blancos’ first stop on their journey towards a potential 14th continental crown. On Wednesday at 9pm CEST (3pm EDT), Carlo Ancelotti’s side open up their 2021/22 Champions League campaign against Inter Milan, a side Madrid also faced in last season’s group stage.

Injured Real Madrid quintet miss Champions League trip

Ancelotti has taken a 23-man squad to Italy, with five first-team players - Ferland Mendy, Marcelo, Toni Kroos, Dani Ceballos and Gareth Bale - staying behind in Madrid. Mendy is in the final stages of his recovery from a calf injury, while Marcelo was a late pull-out due to a hamstring problem that will sideline him for at least 10 days. Kroos, Ceballos and Bale are continuing their recoveries from groin, ankle and hamstring injuries, respectively.

Asensio in midfield with Modric rested?

The Madrid boss has included three academy players in his squad to face Inter, in the shape of Toni Fuidias, Miguel Gutiérrez and Antonio Blanco, who are regulars in his matchday groups. Indeed, Gutiérrez has been a starter at left-back even when Marcelo has been available.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Ancelotti suggested he could opt to rest Luka Modric, opening the door for the Italian to field Marco Asensio in midfield. It’s an option the head coach is keen to explore this season.

The rest of the Real Madrid line-up is likely to be much the same as the team that began Sunday’s LaLiga win over Celta Vigo, other than the returning David Alaba, who is expected to play at left-back in place of Gutiérrez. The Austrian sat out the 5-2 victory over the Galicians with a muscle strain picked up on international duty earlier this month.

Inter vs Real Madrid: possible starting XIs

Real Madrid’s potential starting XI against Inter Milan: Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Nacho, Alaba; Valverde, Casemiro, Asensio; Hazard, Benzema and Vinicius.

On the bench, with up to five substitutions once more permitted in the Champions League this season, Ancelotti is set to have: Fuidias, Vallejo, Gutiérrez, Blanco, Modric, Camavinga, Vázquez, Isco, Rodrygo, Jovic and Mariano.

Inter Milan and Real Madrid's possible starting XIs in the Champions League on Wednesday night.

Inter Milan and Real Madrid's possible starting XIs in the Champions League on Wednesday night.

Inter Milan’s potential starting XI against Real Madrid: Handanovic; Skriniar, De Vrij, Bastoni; Darmian, Barella, Brozovic, Calhanoglu, Dimarco; Dzeko and Lautaro.