As much as Real Madrid were outclassed tactically in the first leg of the Champions League semifinal against Manchester City at the Etihad, they only lost 4-3 and have hopes of another Remontada at the Santiago Bernabeu this Wednesday night.
Los Blancos own European nights, and after walking a tightrope against Chelsea in the quarterfinals, they have the confidence that they can get the job done in the second leg, even though Manchester City have the superior squad.
Here is a look at the possible starting XI for Real Madrid in the second leg of the Champions League semifinal.
GK Thibaut Courtois
Thibaut Courtois is a sure-fire starter in goal for the Merengues. The Belgian international saved Madrid in the Round of 16 and quarterfinals, and you get the feeling his true signature save of the competition is yet to come.
LB Ferland Mendy
Ferland Mendy struggled in the first leg, giving away the ball cheaply and getting burned by Fernandinho on one of Manchester City’s goals. With Antonio Rudiger coming in and potentially shifting David Alaba to left back, Mendy is playing for his future in every match.
CB Nacho Fernandez
David Alaba is vital to Real Madrid and tried to play through an injury against City in the first leg, but he struggled and had to be taken off due to an aggravation. The Austrian is a serious doubt for the second leg. While nothing is decided yet, I tentatively have Nacho Fernandez penciled in as the Merengues’ starter. He would REALLY need to step up against City’s attack – and I do not mean literally. He has been overly-aggressive enough this season.
CB Eder Militao
Eder Militao’s been having some awful performances lately. I would chill on the overreactions, because center backs can go through these periods. Not just young ones. Remember that one time Raphael Varane had some major woes a couple of seasons ago? Or Sergio Ramos’ mistakes to start the 2019/20 season?
But the second leg is an important bounce-back game for Militao. If he continues to make basic positional errors, Real Madrid can kiss their Champions League hopes goodbye.
RB Dani Carvajal
So much hinges on the right back’s defensive performance as well. Dani Carvajal can be one of the best right backs in the world, but he can also be a liability at this stage of his career. Which version of Carvajal will we get on Wednesday night at the Bernabeu?