Real Madrid’s Champions League line-up vs Manchester City today
Luka Modric’s return to the XI is the main team news for Real Madrid, who host Manchester City in the first leg of the Champions League semi-finals.
Carlo Ancelotti has welcomed back star midfielder Luka Modric for today’s Champions League semi-final first leg against Manchester City. The Real Madrid boss has almost his whole squad and available for selection for the first leg against City, with one notable exception.
Here’s the Real Madrid starting XI to face Manchester City...
Courtois; Carvajal, Rüdiger, Alaba, Camavinga; Valverde, Kroos, Modrić; Rodrygo, Benzema, Vinicius
Rüdiger to deputise for Militão in defence
The only first-choice player unavailable for Los Blancos is defender Éder Militão, who serves a one-match suspension for accumulated bookings. The Brazilian will be replaced by Antonio Rüdiger, who will partner David Alaba at centre-back.
Rüdiger and Alaba haven’t played together as the starting central-defensive pairing since the Club World Cup in February. However both have a wealth of experience and both played key roles in last year’s Champions League success. They will be out to prove that Madrid are still the team to beat in this competition.
Kroos at the base of the midfield
There are two changes to the Madrid side that began Saturday’s Copa del Rey final victory over Osasuna. Modric’s return to the team sees young midfielder Aurélien Tchouaméni drop to the bench, with Toni Kroos shifting to a more defensive position in the Frenchman’s absence.
“I played as the holding midfielder against Barcelona and Chelsea and it worked out well,” Kroos told reporters in his pre-match press conference yesterday.
Thibaut Courtois remains undroppable in goal, while Dani Carvajal and Eduardo Camavinga will be the full-backs. Fede Valverde will be the third member of the midfield alongside Kroos and Modric.
In attack, Ancelotti will field his now established front three: Rodrygo Goes, Karim Benzema and Vinícius Júnior. The trio have scored 67 goals between them this season.
Mendy and Ceballos join Militão on sidelines
In addition to Militão, Madrid are also without Ferland Mendy and Dani Ceballos, who are both recovering from injury. However neither would have been likely to start if they were available.
Ceballos has been included in the European champions’ matchday squad so that he can be alongside his team-mates as they prepare for today’s last-four clash.
Nobody on a booking
All outstanding yellow cards were wiped after the Champions League quarter-finals, so no Madrid players are a booking away from missing the second leg at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday 17 May.