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CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Real Madrid’s potential starting XI for the Champions League game against Liverpool

Nacho and Tchouaméni are the talking points in Carlo’s side as Madrid look to build on their 3 goal advantage.

Real Madrid lineup Diario AS
AS English

The big question that swirls around Carlo Ancelotti’s starting XI for the Champions League game against a wounded Liverpool (16:00 ET) is simple: who is the third midfielder, Camavinga or Tchouaméni? This conundrum is not something new, either, as the two Frenchmen have been vying for the same position since their return from the World Cup.

Camavinga, while Tchouaméni was injured, shone for a brief moment in that position, and Ancelotti was quick not to get too excited: “It is true that he makes some obvious mistakes, from time to time, but in the end he plays so well that you forget them”.

Tchouaméni to pilot the pivot position

Despite this and despite everything, it is Tchouameni who, on a night where the margin of error is not allowed to exist, has the higher chance of making the final cut. Carletto is aware that the turbulent air that can surround Camavinga could well be counterproductive in a game that calls for clear skies and calm heads. In moments like these, Tchouaméni is your man.

Tchouameni, with Real Madrid.
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Tchouameni, with Real Madrid.Soccrates ImagesGetty

Sorry, Camavinga, there’s no room here, either

The other issue for Ancelotti, albeit smaller than the midfield coin flip, is what to do at left back. Despite the fact that Mendy has managed to complete several consecutive training sessions and has been fully reintegrated as part of the squad, he is not yet ready to start and, above all, in a match of this magnitude.

Stopping Salah is, again, the big request of the night and the player who showed how to do so at Anfield was Nacho. His game in England immediately won him a place in the XI for the return leg and locked the second door to which Camavinga has a key. Because, let’s be honest, the other midfield positions are not up for debate: it’s a night for Modric and Kroos.

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Diario AS

Benzema is fit, so Beznema plays

Up front, the captain returns: Karim Benzema, now fully recovered from his eighth injury of the season and after missing his 14th game of the season (a 3-0 win over Espanyol). This has, for obvious reasons, not been Benzema’s most consistent season on the pitch, but he arrives in ‘apparently’ good shape for the game, with that information, there is no debate as to what will happen: Benzema starts.

Two with Barcelona (2011 and 2015).
Two with Barcelona (2011 and 2015).
Two with Real Madrid  (2016 and 2017).
Two with Real Madrid (2016 and 2017).
Three with Real Madrid (1958,1959 and 1960).
Three with Real Madrid (1998, 2000 and 2002).
Three with Real Madrid (1998, 2000 and 2002).
Three titles: two with Real Madrid (1998 and 2000) and one with AC Milán (2003).
Three titles: two with Barcelona (2006 and 2009) and one with Inter (2010).
Three with FC Barcelona (2009, 2011 and 2015).
Three with Real Madrid (2016, 2017 and 2018).
Four with Real Madrid  (1958, 1959, 1960 and 1966).
Four with Barcelona (2006, 2009, 2011 and 2015).
Five with Real Madrid (2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2022).
Five with Real Madrid (2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2022)

Non-Europeans with the most Champions League titles

Javier Mascherano (Argentina)

Two with Barcelona (2011 and 2015).

Foto:PHIL NOBLEREUTERS

Adriano (Brazil)

Two with Barcelona (2011 and 2015).

Foto:© MIGUEL RUIZ/FCBARCELONADIARIO AS

James Rodríguez (Colombia)

Two with Real Madrid (2016 and 2017).

Foto:JESUS ALVAREZ ORIHUELADIARIO AS

Danilo (Brazil)

Two with Real Madrid (2016 and 2017).

Foto:Eddie KeoghREUTERS

Rogelio Domínguez (Argentina)

Three with Real Madrid (1958,1959 and 1960).

Roberto Carlos (Brazil)

Three with Real Madrid (1998, 2000 and 2002).

Foto:KAI PFAFFENBACHREUTERS

Sávio (Brazil)

Three with Real Madrid (1998, 2000 and 2002).

Fernando Redondo (Argentina)

Three titles: two with Real Madrid (1998 and 2000) and one with AC Milán (2003).

Foto:Tony Marshall - EMPICSPA Images via Getty Images

Eto´o (Cameroon)

Three titles: two with Barcelona (2006 and 2009) and one with Inter (2010).

Foto:WEB BARCELONADIARIO AS

Dani Alves (Brazil)

Three with FC Barcelona (2009, 2011 and 2015).

Foto:Michael DalderREUTERS

Keylor Navas (Costa Rica)

Three with Real Madrid (2016, 2017 and 2018).

Foto:GLEB GARANICHREUTERS

José Santamaría (Uruguay)

Four with Real Madrid (1958, 1959, 1960 and 1966).

Messi (Argentina)

Four with Barcelona (2006, 2009, 2011 and 2015).

Foto:Kai PfaffenbachREUTERS

Casemiro (Brazil)

Five with Real Madrid (2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2022).

Foto:DANI SANCHEZDIARIO AS

Marcelo (Brazil)

Five with Real Madrid (2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2022)

Foto:Quality Sport ImagesGetty Images
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His support players will be Valverde and Vinicius, as easy as that. There are no more dilemmas in defence either: in front of Courtois’ goal will be Carvajal, Militão and Rüdiger, along with the aforementioned Nacho. The finest outfit for a gala evening at the Santiago Bernabéu.