For the third time in three years, Zinedine Zidane will have the welcome headache of picking a squad for the biggest game in club football. Having beaten the French Champions, the Italian Champions and the German Champions on their way to the Champions League final this season, Los Blancos will take on probably the most exciting side in Europe at the moment in Liverpool this Saturday.
Both teams face off in the most anticipated clash for a while now, in Kyiv, Ukraine and both manager will believe that they have what it takes to land the title. Liverpool have had a relatively easier run but certainly deserve their place in the final and are also sure to test the Spanish giants. But looking to win the third UCL trophy in three years, Real Madrid start this game as firm favourites. Zidane has a number of stars to choose from and will have to be wise with his starting XI for this showpiece event. Here is the predicted lineup he might field for this tie:
Zidane will be ecstatic that he has a fully fit squad to choose from but it will be a testing decision for the French mastermind. None of his players is injured or suspended ahead of this tie.
Expected lineup (4-2-2-2):
Keylor Navas has a knack for stepping up in big games and he will have a tough task on his hands against an in-form Liverpool attack. Zidane has trusted Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane in crunch games this season and should stick with them. They will have to keep a close eye on Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah, who like to run rings around backlines.
Nacho has been decent but Dani Carvajal’s experience might be preferred in this final at right back. Marcelo will have his work cut out against the best winger in Europe at the moment in Salah.
Casemiro will have his hands full against a Liverpool side that is ruthless in attack. He will have to make sure that he does not give away needless fouls and should work hard to keep the pressure away from the backline. Toni Kroos will also have to play a similar role and might not be given too many chances to venture forward.
Luka Modric and Isco are expected to feature in slightly advanced roles in the midfield and maybe even on the wing, as Zidane will look to overcrowd the midfield and make it tough for Liverpool to pass through.
Karim Benzema scored a brace in the semi-final second leg and deserves to start alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, whose performance can easily decide the outcome of the game.
Here is how they might line up: