Real Madrid travel to Chelsea without center-back Raphael Varane, but several other important players are back in the squad.
Zinedine Zidane has the deepest squad he has had in some time as Real Madrid move to take on Chelsea with Marcelo, Sergio Ramos, Fede Valverde and Ferland Mendy all available. Madrid have often had an exhausted and weakened squad over the past two months, with a host of key players excluded for long stretches.
But while Los Blancos need a positive result at Stamford Bridge in Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final second leg, Zidane can once again count on many of his stars. If Raphael Varane’s absence following a kidnapper’s injury suffered against Osasuna this weekend is a big blow, Ramos is available again for the first time since the end of March.
Whether he returns straight into the starting XI given his lack of match-making action is another matter, although Eder Militão and Nacho have seemed a solid duo in recent weeks, keeping a clean sheet against Liverpool at Anfield in quarter-finals.
Zidane will also have options at left-back, with Mendy recovering from a calf problem suffered in mid-April, while Marcelo was able to travel. The Brazilian was apparently set to miss the trip altogether after being called in to monitor a local election. But, according to Spanish media outlet La Sexta, an elderly woman – who was apparently a ‘second deputy’ for the electoral role – volunteered to take Marcelo’s place, freeing him to join the team before their flight to London. .
Valverde, who missed the last two weeks after testing positive for coronavirus, has also joined the merengue group. Madrid were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Chelsea, meaning they have to win or draw – except 1-1 – to advance to the final in Istanbul at the end of the month .
Real Madrid team against Chelsea
Goalkeepers: Courtois, Lunin, Altube.
Defenders: Militão, Sergio Ramos, Nacho, Marcelo, Odriozola, Mendy, Miguel Gutiérrez.
Midfielders: Kroos, Modric, Casemiro, Isco, Fede Valverde, Arribas, Blanco.
Forwards: Hazard, Benzema, Asensio, Vinicius, Mariano, Rodrygo.