Real Madrid are set to take on one of the best sides in Europe in Manchester City tonight at the Etihad Stadium for the UEFA Champions League semi-finals first leg. Carlo Ancelotti has fielded a side he thinks is best for this encounter, with a few surprising picks.
Casemiro has been deemed unfit for this game and starts from the bench. His place has been taken by Federico Valverde. Toni Kroos and Luka Modric are the other midfielders in the trident, unsurprisingly.
Madrid receive a major boost in the defence, though, as David Alaba returns to the starting lineup. He is partnered alongside Eder Militao, while Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy take the responsibility of flanking the back-four from the right and left respectively.
Thibaut Courtois will don the gloves, hoping for yet another show-stopper performance in goal.
The striker and left-winger pick themselves in Karim Benzema and Vinicius Jr. On the right, however, we will see Rodrygo start over Marco Asensio despite the goal on the weekend.
Official Madrid XI: Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Mendy; Modric, Valverde, Kroos; Rodrygo, Benzema, Vinicius
Real Madrid do not want to pay ‘crazy money’ for top defensive target – Romano
As has been reported by multiple reliable sources today, Alphonso Davies is likely to be on his way to Real Madrid from Bayern Munich in the summer.
It has been suggested that the 23-year-old Canadian left-back already has a verbal agreement with Los Blancos over a transfer either this summer or in 2025, when his contract with the Bundesliga champions runs down.
Now, the idea is for Real Madrid to start negotiations with Bayern Munich over a transfer fee so that a mutually beneficial agreement can be reached for the summer window.
Real Madrid will not pay crazy money
Amidst all this, Fabrizio Romano has come out with an update claiming that Real Madrid do not intend to pay ‘crazy money’ to sign Davies from Bayern Munich given that he will be entering the final year of his contract.
The Italian transfer expert claims that Real Madrid have been the preferred destination for Davies for a while now and that the personal terms between the two parties will not be an issue at all.
So, a summer move would now hinge on Bayern Munich’s asking price for their left-back.
Romano states that the Bavarian giants will attempt to tie Davies down to a new contract until May or even June.
But if the left-back, who is demanding hefty wages worth around €20 million, does not agree to sign, they will be forced to sell instead of losing him for free next year.
In that scenario, Real Madrid will be best-placed to sign Davies, although Los Blancos will not go overboard with their spending on the Canadian.