Real Madrid Starting XI Prediction vs. Liverpool for the Champions League final

Real Madrid, Fede Valverde (Photo by Silvestre Szpylma/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Fede Valverde (Photo by Silvestre Szpylma/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /
2 of 3
Real Madrid, Luka Modric
Real Madrid, Luka Modric (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images) /

DM Casemiro

Real Madrid are going to need everything they can possibly get from Casemiro in this game. His positioning and defensive prowess, as well as his presence in Zone 14, would be absolutely critical. Liverpool have a lot of runners up and down the pitch and Casemiro would have to do his best to limit their production.

Also, he has to be in the box at all times whenever the fullbacks cause danger from the flanks, because as good as David Alaba is, he’s not the tallest defender out there. Casemiro would have to do a lot of work.

CM Luka Modric

Of course, he is going to play. You don’t go to war without this guy. Modric is, in my opinion, the best midfielder in the world. He’s also the best big-game midfielder in the world right now, and there’s no way he doesn’t start for this team. His love for the team takes him to different levels that no one can ever imagine, and playing at the biggest stage of them all is only going to heighten those levels even more.

Real Madrid are going to need everything from Modric, and Modric would give his all. I think that especially in the big games, his defensive responsibility has decreased a little bit so that he’s able to go forward and help the offense more, which has been key. But this game is going to truly test him, and he needs to be up for it. Who am I kidding, of course, he’d be up for it.

CM Toni Kroos

OK, here’s my most controversial take. Well, no one would’ve considered this controversial a season ago, but I think Real Madrid will start Toni Kroos in the Champions League final.

He has struggled sometimes against big teams that are very physical, but he’s also being put in a role that is just not for him, so that makes a difference. However, what he brings to the offense and the control of the game is something that would work best against a team like Liverpool. The Reds are, statistically and otherwise, the best pressing team in the world, and even though they have toned it down a little bit, Real still need Kroos to get them through the press.

And, the other reason is that Liverpool tend to overload the ball side a lot so that they win the ball back, and that’s where Kroos comes in handy. He can launch cross-field switches and start counterattacks for Real Madrid at will. If you know Kroos, then you know that the passing is one thing that Kroos can do perfectly all day long. That will be crucial against Liverpool. And, well, if it doesn’t work, then Ancelotti would bring Camavinga on in the 60th minute, anyway.