Following another slip up in the Spanish top flight at the weekend, Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane will be acutely aware of the fact that the Champions League may be his side’s only remaining route to silverware this season.
However, standing between Madrid and a spot in the final of the tournament are a resurgent Chelsea team guided by the impressive Thomas Tuchel.
Fortunately, Zidane shouldn’t have too many injuries to contend with as he puts together a team to make the most of the first leg.
In defence the French manager will call upon Thibaut Courtois to continue his impressive form between the posts, behind a make-shift back four of Nacho, Raphael Varane, Eder Militao and Dani Carvajal following injuries to Lucas Vaz quez and Ferland Mendy. As well as the long-term injury to Sergio Ramos.
Fortunately Zidane will be able to rely upon a dependable and consistent midfield trio of Casemiro, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric, as he hopes this midfield engine will help push Madrid by Chelsea as they did against Liverpool.
After coming off the bench to pick up minutes against Real Betis at the weekend, there may be some hope of Eden Hazard featuring against his former club but it seems far more likely that Zidane will start Vinicius Junior and Marco Assensio and hope to bring the Belgium international on at some point throughout the match.
As has been the case for much of the season, that leaves Karim Benzema up front as the sole striker and goal threat for this Madrid team.