Real Madrid vs. Chelsea: Expectations for each projected starter

Real Madrid, Eder Militao (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Eder Militao (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Toni Kroos
Real Madrid, Toni Kroos (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images) /

CM Toni Kroos

After missing the last three matches in La Liga since the second Champions League clash with Liverpool, Toni Kroos is expected to return to the pitch for Real Madrid this Tuesday night. Kroos has been the outstanding player of the season for Real Madrid, so getting him back will be crucial against an excellent Chelsea midfield. He and Jorginho will have a fun battle when it comes to controlling the pitch. Kroos’ effectiveness will be one of the biggest storylines of the first leg.

CM Casemiro

The man in the middle, Casemiro, will, likewise, be vital to Real Madrid. Case assisted Karim Benzema at mid-week in the win over Cadiz, though he was unable to make much of an offensive impact in the goalless draw against Betis. Casemiro has been a clutch player for Real on the offensive end with the second-most goals in La Liga with five. But, of course, Case’s biggest impact is defensive, as he leads the team in tackles and interceptions per game.

CM Luka Modric

Like Toni Kroos, Luka Modric is another all-important player to Real Madrid who has been hobbled recently. He played against Getafe and Real Betis but was subbed off in the second half. And he did not play at Cadiz. Modric is expected to start against Chelsea, but will he be 100 percent? If not, Madridistas cannot expect much more than a mistake-free game with positive passes. But if Modric is healthy, the tireless midfielder could be the Man of the Match on another Champions League night.