Champions League: Real Madrid’s possible starting lineup vs Celtic
It’s unclear whether Karim Benzema will be fit to start for Real Madrid in the Champions League on Wednesday, but Aurélien Tchouaméni is definitely out.
Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti says he’ll make a late call on Karim Benzema’s involvement in Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Celtic, as the tournament holders bid to clinch top spot in Group F.
Already-through Madrid will win the group if they beat the Scottish champions, or if RB Leipzig drop points against Shakhtar Donetsk.
Benzema in Real Madrid squad but may not start
Benzema has returned to Los Blancos’ squad for the matchday-six encounter at the Bernabéu, but Ancelotti told reporters on Tuesday: “I’ll have to decide whether he starts or only plays a part of the game - we’ll see after training.”
The 34-year-old striker has missed Madrid’s past three matches in all competitions, having initially been ruled out of last month’s LaLiga win over Sevilla with muscle fatigue in his right thigh. So far, injury has sidelined him for seven of Madrid’s 18 games this season.
If Benzema is unable to start against Celtic, Ancelotti is expected to name the same front three that began Sunday’s league draw with Girona. Rodrygo Goes would again deputise for the Ballon d’Or holder at centre-forward.
Hazard, Tchouaméni ruled out
Meanwhile, Eden Hazard and Aurélien Tchouaméni have been left out of Madrid’s matchday group, with both players struggling with muscle issues. In the absence of Tchouaméni, who also missed the Girona game, Eduardo Camavinga is likely to keep his place at the base of the midfield.
Éder Militão is set to return in central defence, having been rested at the weekend. It’s possible Ferland Mendy will drop to the bench, with David Alaba shifting from centre-back to take the Frenchman’s place at left-back.
Possible Real Madrid lineup vs Celtic:
Courtois, Carvajal, Militão, Rüdiger, Mendy/Alaba, Modric, Camavinga, Kroos, Valverde, Rodrygo, Vinícius.
Madrid vs Celtic: key info
Wednesday’s Champions League Group F match between Real Madrid and Celtic kicks off at the Bernabéu at 6:45pm CET/1:45pm ET/10:45am PT. Viewers in the US will be able to watch live on Paramount+, while you will also have the option of following minute-by-minute commentary of the game at AS USA.