Real Madrid Predicted Starting XI vs. PSG in the first leg of the Champions League

Real Madrid, Karim Benzema (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Karim Benzema (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Luka Modric
Real Madrid, Luka Modric (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images) /

CM Toni Kroos

Solid as ever against Villarreal, Toni Kroos is in the midst of another quietly strong season for Real Madrid. While Madridistas do not underrate Kroos, it still seems like the rest of the world continues to disrespect him, even though he is one of the best midfielders in the business.

PSG have a great controller in his own right in Marco Verratti, but even he is not at the level of Kroos. So Kroos’ passing and calmness on the ball could help Real separate themselves from PSG. Real must not give PSG an inch by making mistakes on the ball, and they must pick out progressive passes to make the most of their chances. If Real can get a win, Kroos could be the main reason why.

DM Casemiro

Though Casemiro has been a bit up-and-down in 2021-2022, he was excellent in the clean sheet draw with Villarreal. Casemiro will have a big say in this game with his defensive coverage, and he should have more passing freedom than against most opponents. He tends to step up in big games, so expect a strong performance from the defensive midfielder.

CM Luka Modric

Although Luka Modric could not get a full day of rest against Villarreal due to the team’s first-half incompetence at Villarreal, the Croatian magician should be rested enough to have a Man of the Match-caliber performance at PSG.

Modric looked a bit slow after a great January, so hopefully he can pick things up against PSG. He is another world-class midfielder who shines on the big stage, and when comparing these midfields head-to-head, you get the sense that Modric’s matchup and skill-set lend themselves to dominance. After watching the right flank struggle without him, Madridistas know Modric is one of the players who holds the keys to victory.