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Best starting XI from the Champions League quarter-finals, four Real Madrid players included

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Photo by Florencia Tan Jun/Getty Images

The UEFA Champions League quarterfinals were thrilling this season. Real Madrid showcased their dominance with an impressive victory over Manchester City, proving their status as a top contender in this competition. 

Bayern Munich’s experienced team taught Arsenal a tough lesson in play, while PSG observed Barcelona’s collapse in their own backyard. 

Meanwhile, Borussia Dortmund battled hard against Atletico Madrid to secure their spot in the next round. 

Now that we have our final four teams, it is time to take a look at the best XI that featured during the final eight.

Goalkeeper – Andriy Lunin

While Manchester City were better on paper, they could not do much to breach Real Madrid keeper Andriy Lunin. The Ukrainian made clutch saves and even denied Bernardo Silva and Mateo Kovacic during the all-important shootout.

Andriy Lunin saved two penalties against Manchester City. (Photo by DARREN STAPLES/AFP via Getty Images)

Right-back – Joshua Kimmich

The Bayern Munich right-back was key to their success against Arsenal, especially in the second leg where his goal decided the fate of the teams. Overall, he locked down Arsenal’s left flank with relative ease and his move back to defence proved to be a masterstroke.

Centre-backs – Eric Dier and Antonio Rudiger

The 30-year-old Bayern Munich defender won four tackles, three interceptions and two aerial duals against Arsenal in the second leg alone, which warrants him a place in this setup.

Secondly, Antonio Rudiger was simply unplayable for a certain Erling Haaland across both legs. Although a substandard clearance allowed Man City to equalize in the second leg, his overall performance was excellent.

Left-back – Josko Gvardiol

Gvardiol made a notable impact in the first leg against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu, scoring his first goal for Manchester City in style. Between the two legs, he had five tackles, four interceptions, three clearances, and three key passes to his name.

Right midfielder – Federico Valverde

Real Madrid midfielder Federico Valverde never missed an ounce of energy across the two legs. After having scored the equalizing goal in the first leg, his tireless strides at the Etihad were key to Madrid’s qualification.

Federico Valverde was key to Real Madrid’s success. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Defensive midfielder – Rodri

The Man City midfielder won five tackles between the two legs against Manchester City and was arguably their best player on the field across the two matches.

Left midfielder – Vitinha

Vitinha’s performance in the matches against Barcelona over the last two weeks has impressed many observers. The 24-year-old scored in both games and had a strong impact on the field with five shots, five key passes, and two successful dribbles.

Right winger – Ousmane Dembele

Before facing Barcelona last week, Ousmane Dembele had only scored one goal for his new club.

However, in the two games against his former team, he scored a goal in each match. Additionally, he made a significant impact with four key passes and five successful dribbles.

Centre-forward – Rodrygo

The Real Madrid frontman has always been Manchester City’s doom and even this season, he scored two goals across both legs, deserving a place in this XI.

Rodrygo scored in both games vs Man City. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Left winger – Raphinha

Raphinha put in a strong performance in both matches against PSG, trying to lead his team to the semi-finals.

Although his efforts were admirable, they weren’t enough to secure victory. In the first leg at the Parc des Princes, he scored twice. In the return match in Spain, he opened the scoring. 

Over the course of both games, Raphinha took eight shots, made four key passes, and completed three successful dribbles.

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MU Shorts

Tchouameni, Bellingham start in a 4-4-2: How Real Madrid could line up against Bayern Munich

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Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid will face their biggest fixture of the season later tonight when they lock horns with Bayern Munich in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League semi-finals.

Having already won the Spanish Super Cup and La Liga, Los Blancos will be eager to take a step closer to lifting the Champions League crown as well.

The first leg, played in Germany, ended in a 2-2 draw leaving the tie nicely balanced as Real Madrid and Bayern Munich battle it out for a spot in the finals, where Borussia Dortmund await.

Heading into tonight’s clash, Real Madrid have only one injury-enforced absentee in the form of David Alaba.

Having made plenty of rotations to the team for the weekend La Liga clash against Cadiz, Carlo Ancelotti will name his strongest possible lineup at the Santiago Bernabeu tonight. And here’s how Real Madrid could take the field against Thomas Tuchel’s men.

Starters

Even though Thibaut Courtois is fully fit and made his first appearance of the season this past Saturday, Andriy Lunin has more than earned his spot in the lineup and will start in goal, as confirmed by Carlo Ancelotti yesterday.

Dani Carvajal is back in the squad after missing the first leg through suspension and is certain to replace Lucas Vazquez at right-back tonight against Bayern Munich. Meanwhile, Ferland Mendy will occupy the left side of the defence.

Antonio Rudiger is a certainty to feature at the heart of the defence but Ancelotti has a dilemma as far as the German’s partner is concerned.

But with Eder Militao still not back to his best and Nacho Fernandez not looking all too secure in the first leg, Aurelien Tchouameni could be asked to fill in at centre-back by Ancelotti.

Tchouameni could start at centre-back. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

In that scenario, Eduardo Camavinga becomes an automatic starter at the base of the Real Madrid midfield, where he will partner Toni Kroos, who was one of the Merengues’ best players from the first leg.

In somewhat of a tweaked setup, Ancelotti’s permanent fixture, Federico Valverde will line up on the right side of the midfield four, while Rodrygo Goes is likely to occupy the left flank – a position from where he has been quite effective in recent times.

It would mean that Vinicius Jr. would play in a more central role on the night against Bayern Munich, with fellow key man Jude Bellingham providing the Brazilian superstar support in the attacking line.

Substitutes

Luka Modric is a certainty to come on at some point in the second period for Real Madrid if he does not start against Bayern Munich. The Croatian has showcased good form in recent games and can impact the proceedings.

Brahim Diaz is also someone that Carlo Ancelotti counts on regularly from the bench and that is unlikely to change. Nacho Fernandez could be an option if Real Madrid wish to shut up shop at the back.

On the other hand, Joselu could be an alternative in attack to provide a different kind of threat in and around the Bayern Munich box.

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