Real Madrid at full power ahead of Liverpool showdown



Real Madrid are back to full strength as they prepare for Saturday’s Champions League final against Liverpool.

Zinedine Zidane has seen all of his squad’s injury issues clear up in time for their clash with Jurgen Klopp’s side.

The primary injury absentee in recent weeks has been talisman Cristiano Ronaldo, who had missed a fortnight of action with an ankle injury.

The Portuguese international was withdrawn at half time during Real’s bad tempered 2-2 draw against Barcelona, and missed the La Liga clashes with Sevilla and Celta Vigo.

However he made a goal scoring return this weekend in another 2-2 draw, away at Villarreal, and despite being substituted on 62 minutes, Zidane confirmed that he was a certainty to play in the final.

The other primary injury worry for the 2017 and 2018 Champions League winners was over defender Dani Carvajal.

The right back was withdrawn injured in the semi final first leg against Bayern Munich, missing the following five games.

His absence was covered by utility man Nacho Fernandez and Lucas Vazquez, however neither fully convinced in the absence of the Spanish international.

Given the attacking potency of Liverpool on their left side, through Andrew Robertson and Sadio Mane, the alarm bells had begun to sound, as Carvajal only returned to full training five days ago.

However he also played, a full 90 minutes, against Villarreal and Real will manage his return in the coming days, but he should start in Kiev.

The return of Carvajal gives Zidane his first choice back four, alongside skipper Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varance and Marcelo.

Further up the field, the experienced trio of Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Casemiro will all line up in the starting XI, with Vazquez and Mateo Kovacic also passed fit to take their place in the squad.

In attack, Zidane has no injury concerns, with Isco having shaken off a minor injury to be fit in time for the final.

However the Frenchman must make a call on who to start with against Liverpool, with the old adage of ‘selection headache’ ringing true.

In the 2017 final, Zidane made two changes from the 2016 win, with Varane replacing Pepe in defence,and Isco in for Gareth Bale in attack.

The latter issue will be one for Zidane to battle with this week, as he prepares his team.

Isco is a favourite of Zidane’s, although injuries have hampered him in 2018, despite Zidane’s enduring faith.

Bale, who has been the subject of intense transfer speculation, is in red hot form, scoring five goals in his last five games.

How well do you know Spanish football? Want to challenge the best Champions League Fantasy Managers? Play now!


To leave a comment, you must be logged into