Real Madrid vs Barcelona :Copa del Rey | Key Players and Prediction

Real Madrid vs Barcelona :Copa del Rey | Key Players and Prediction

European champions Real Madrid welcome La Liga leaders Barcelona to the Santiago Bernabeu for the second leg of their Copa del Rey semifinal on Wednesday night. 


The two iconic rivals played out a fascinating 1-1 draw in the first leg, at Camp Nou, and will do everything in their power to better that outcome, tonight, in the Spanish capital. 

Real Madrid, due to their inconsistent patches this season, came into the tie as the underdogs. However, at Camp Nou, we saw a totally different Real Madrid in action. They were creating chances, defending religiously, and managed to outplay Barcelona in their own backyard. Lucas Vazquez drew first blood in the 6th minute to set the tempo, which Real Madrid maintained until the final whistle. Barcelona, thanks to a common Marcelo mistake, still got themselves back into the contest through Malcom’s firm strike in the second half. 

So, the 1-1 scoreline does seem like a decent one from Real Madrid’s perspective as they need a goalless draw or better to secure their place in the Copa del Rey final — their first since the 2013/14 campaign. However, considering how great Barcelona have been at the Santiago Bernabeu — without defeat at the Bernabeu since October 2014 — lately, the narrow margin hardly provides any protection. 

Key Players

Barcelona

Lionel Messi

This one is pretty much a no-brainer. The best player in La Liga and possibly the world, Lionel Messi needs to have a spotless game to help his side make it to the finals. Last weekend, the Argentine shrugged off injury concerns to score a decisive hat-trick in a 4-2 win at Sevilla. Tonight, he will once again be marked heavily and will have to put in a shift. But knowing just how capable the Barcelona skipper is, there is no reason for fans to be anxious. Lionel Messi has registered a whopping 33 goals and 18 assists in 32 appearances across all competitions this season and will fancy himself to add to his tally, tonight. 

Real Madrid

Gareth Bale

Following Cristiano Ronaldo‘s departure, the Welshman was supposed to emerge as Real Madrid’s most important, decisive player. Sadly, things haven’t been quite straightforward for the former Tottenham Hotspur ace. During his absence, Vinicius Junior made his way into the team and has managed to make himself an indispensable member of Santiago Solari’s squad. Having lost his place to an 18-year-old, the most expensive player in the squad has been acting out, landing the team in a complicated situation. The Welsh wizard is desperate for an opportunity to win his place back, and an emphatic performance against Real’s fiercest rivals could go a long way in helping his cause. 

Probable XI

Real Madrid (4-3-3): Navas; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Kroos, Casemiro, Modric; Vazquez, Benzema, Vinicius

https://twitter.com/SergioRamosismo/status/1100417706308919296

Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Roberto, Pique, Umtiti, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Vidal; Messi, Suarez, Dembele

Prediction

El Clasico is one of the most decorated and intense rivalries in the world. These two iconic sides have played out some fascinating fixtures over the years, and we expect nothing less tonight. Barcelona seem to be the more in-form team right now, but a desperate Real Madrid will not be an easy team to beat.

We predict Real Madrid to beat Barcelona on penalties.

Also Read: Rivalry beyond years

Vinicius Jr – Real Madrid’s Next Big Superstar?

Vinicius Jr - Real Madrid's Next Big Superstar?

Struck by inconsistency and two massive departures, Los Blancos have been reduced to a shadow of their former ruthless selves. Yet, amid all the hopelessness and against all odds, an 18-year-old has emerged as their brightest and most vivid spark. 


Zinedine Zidane and Cristiano Ronaldo were two of the most prolific members of Real Madrid. So, after their successive departures, Los Blancos were forced to fall back upon the most experienced members of the squad. Gareth Bale, who was bound to become the ‘King of Madrid’ after Ronaldo’s departure, failed to live up to the billing, handing one lanky Brazilian teenager an opportunity he couldn’t even dream of.

The former Flamengo forward always dreamt of donning the royal white. So, when the opportunity finally presented itself in 2017, he couldn’t help himself from jumping the gun.

Also Read: Marcos Llorente – A career in danger

“Yes, Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona among others,” he told Marca when asked if there had been inquiries from other clubs.

“They were always in touch with us. In the end, we waited for the right time and the right team.”

“I felt that I was making my boyhood dream come true, that I was going to a club that all the best players in the world want to be at. The best are there. I can’t explain the happiness I felt when I signed the contract with Real Madrid,” said the youngster.

During Madrid’s pre-season games, Vinicius Jr finally got the opportunity to stretch his legs. Julen Lopetegui certainly took notes but didn’t think he was ready for real, competitive football. Over the first 10 La Liga games, he could only manage to play 12 minutes of football, coming off the bench against Atletico Madrid and Alaves, respectively. Lopetugui’s ill-fated Bernabeu stint ended with the crushing 5-1 defeat at Barcelona, and with it, Vinicius’ frustrating spell on the sidelines.

Santiago Solari, straightaway, showed more faith in the player than Lopetegui ever did, and started him in the Copa del Rey clash against UD Melilla. The Brazilian rewarded his coach’s faith with a brace of assists, showing first signs of his quality on the ball. He once again impressed in the second leg, this time netting his first senior goal for Real Madrid.

His first La Liga start came earlier in January, in the 2-0 home defeat to Real Sociedad. Los Blancos were all over the place and produced one of their worst performances of the current campaign, but Vinicius, once again, stood out with his daunting runs and never-ending enthusiasm. In the first leg of the Copa del Rey last-16 clash against Leganes, the Brazilian dropped one of his best performances, pitching in with a goal and an assist as Madrid cruised to a 3-0 win at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Over the last few weeks, Vinicius Junior has been one of the first names on Solari’s team sheet. It is as if he knows the value of every single minute as a Real Madrid player, knows just how quickly it could all fade away.

The teenager, in no way, is the most polished player in the star-studded Real Madrid squad. He also isn’t the most dependable. But the youngster, most definitely, seems like the most courageous. He still needs to work a lot on his touches, his movement, and most of all, his finishing. But the temperament he has shown, so far, has really been exemplary. Vinicius Junior may or may not be the solution to all of Real Madrid’s problems, but the Brazilian, at the very least, makes all Madridistas hope for the improbable; makes them believe that it’s never over until the fat lady sings.

Copa del Rey: Real Madrid’s Only Realistic Hope for Silverware

Copa del Rey: Real Madrid's Only Realistic Hope for Silverware

It’s been an unpredictable season for Real Madrid. Technically, they are still competing on all three fronts; but realistically, it’s only the Copa del Rey they can hope to lift at the end of the campaign. 


The most successful club in Europe, Real Madrid, have always had an insatiable hunger for success. We’ve seen countless managerial changes and player transfers over the years, but the heart of Madrid has always been the same, aching for silverware.

After winning three Champions Leagues and one La Liga in just three seasons under Zinedine Zidane, the club were meant to return to normalcy, sooner or later. But no one probably expected the change to be so abrupt and jarring.

Julen Lopetegui’s ill-fated Real Madrid stint ended just after the crushing 5-1 defeat at Barcelona. Out of options, the club promoted their B team coach, Santiago Solari, who, in no way, had the qualification to lead the star-studded senior side.

Also Read: Zlatan slams Ronaldo for joining Real Madrid

Madrid bounced back with four consecutive wins, but the embarrassing 3-0 defeat at Eibar at the end of November gave the club a harsh reality check. Since then, it has been an unpredictable saga of disappointment, mediocrity, and, more often than not, despair.

Following Cristiano Ronaldo’s surprising and gut-wrenching departure in the summer, Real Madrid needed to sign a proven striker to mask the absence of their record goalscorer. Instead, they brought Mariano Diaz back from Lyon, hoping for him to keep the team’s primary goalscorer, Karim Benzema, on his toes.

So far, the plan hasn’t paid dividends, as both strikers have struggled with niggling injuries and inconsistent showings in front of goal. Gareth Bale, who was meant to be Cristiano Ronaldo’s worthy successor, has also been a major disappointment. Like every other season, he has missed a good number of games due to injuries, leaving his side pale and uninspiring up top. Other stars, who used to look world class under Zinedine Zidane, have been reduced to their mortal, mediocre selves. They are seemingly struggling with fatigue and complacency – the two most damaging traits to a team with Real Madrid’s ambitions.

Standing at the midway point of the season, Real Madrid find themselves 10 points behind La Liga leaders, Barcelona, who are, once again, running away with the title. In the Champions League, Real Madrid will take on a spirited Ajax side in the round-of-16. On paper, it doesn’t seem to be too big of a tie for the reigning European champions; but Solari’s Real Madrid look and feel a lot different than Zidane’s champions.

That leaves us with the King’s Cup – a trophy Madrid have never been too fond of. They last won it in 2014, under La Decima hero Carlo Ancelotti, and have been an utter disappointment in the competition, since. Last year, they were knocked out by a lowly Leganes side in the quarter-finals, proving how careless they have been in the competition.

This year, Los Blancos have a 3-0 last-16 advantage going into Wednesday’s second leg at Leganes, and Solari’s Madrid better realize just how crucial this tie is for them. Yes, they are not the biggest fans of the competition, and the medals aren’t as shiny as some of the other tournaments’; but, in reality, it still is a major trophy, and it could end up saving Solari’s job at the end of the season.

Solari might end up pulling off something spectacular and lead Madrid to their fourth successive Champions League trophy. But judging by their performances, and the way the Argentinian has managed his side, even dreaming about it seems like a bit of a stretch. For now, winning the Copa del Rey should be one of Madrid’s primary objectives, and the very first step will be to put on a show against a spirited Leganes side on Wednesday.

FC Barcelona vs Real Madrid: Mid-Season Review

Mid-Season Review: Real Madrid vs FC BarcelonaMid-Season Review: Real Madrid vs FC Barcelona

With 58 La Liga titles between them, Real Madrid and Barcelona are the two biggest clubs in Spain. Thanks to their ridiculously brilliant squads and unmatched winning pedigree, the two juggernauts always kick off the league campaign as title favorites; and the 2018/19 season, too, was no exception. Sadly, this season, their iconic rivalry hasn’t reflected on the Spanish Primera Division table. 


Both Real Madrid and Barcelona started the season brightly, picking up convincing wins over Getafe and Alaves, respectively. The two carried the momentum over the next couple of La Liga matchdays, but the first upset of the season was just around the corner for the European champions. In their first real test of the season, Real Madrid folded rather astonishingly, drawing 1-1 at Athletic Bilbao. Barcelona returned the favor by surrendering two points to Girona at Camp Nou in the next weekend.

 

Over the next six La Liga games, Real Madrid suffered four crushing defeats, including a 5-1 humbling at Camp Nou; which ultimately marked the end of Julen Lopetegui’s disappointingly short stint at the Santiago Bernabeu. Barcelona, as expected, capitalized on Real Madrid’s misfortunes and got themselves a healthy advantage over their bitterest rivals.

Also Read: La Liga Gameweek 18 Roundup

Real Madrid handed the reins to former Castilla man, Santiago Solari, hoping for a prompt change of fortunes. The Argentinian recorded five consecutive victories in his opening five fixtures, but couldn’t help the club from settling back into their same old routine. The 3-0 defeat at Eibar gave Real Madrid a harsh reality check, showing them that a managerial change was never going to help the way they had hoped. Ernesto Valverde’s Barcelona, too, couldn’t manage to look as flamboyant as they would’ve liked, but their determination to bag all points gave them an edge over Solari’s Madrid.

As of today, league leaders, Barcelona, have a ten-point advantage over fifth-placed Real Madrid. The Blaugrana have demonstrated how to win matches at any cost – an ability Los Merengues still haven’t managed to master. The disparity between the two sides has been monumental this season, and most of it can be chalked down to a certain Portuguese superstar’s absence.

Key Men: Gareth Bale vs Lionel Messi

Following Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure to Juventus, Gareth Bale was tipped to fill in for the club’s record goalscorer. But so far, the Welshman hasn’t done anything to justify the hype. Bale’s season has once again suffered due to niggling injury issues, forcing him to miss a significant chunk of the campaign. The former Tottenham man has appeared in 15 La Liga fixtures, so far, scoring 4 goals and providing 2 assists.

While Gareth Bale has struggled to get a foothold, Barcelona skipper, Lionel Messi, has once again been understatedly brilliant. As mentioned earlier, Barcelona haven’t always been at their best under Valverde, but the Argentinian has made sure to deliver whenever called upon, without fail, every single time. In just 16 La Liga matches, Messi has scored 16 goals and provided 11 assists, emerging as the league’s leading scorer and provider.

Looking Ahead

After 18 rounds of fixtures, it’s pretty safe to say that Real Madrid haven’t been able to live up to the billing, not even close. As for Barcelona, they look on course for yet another league title, their 26th in history.

The All Whites have done everything in their power to bring Madrid back to where they belong, but the void left behind by Cristiano Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane has been almost impossible to fill. Their forwards have struggled for both fitness and consistency, while the defense, as always, has been all over the place. In all honesty, there doesn’t seem to be much hope for Real Madrid this season, and anything better than a Europa League finish will be considered a humble achievement.

Gareth Bale – 5 Lesser known Facts About the Welshman

Gareth Bale - 5 Lesser known Facts About the Welshman

Gareth Bale has had a little bit of a Roller Coaster Career with a significant number of Ups and Downs. But the sheer talent the Welshman possesses is admirable, and it’s safe to say that Bale is now Real Madrid’s talisman.


But there isn’t much we know about the Welsh Record scorer so without further ado, here are five lesser-known facts about Gareth Bale.

 

1. Made his International Debut at the age of 16

Gareth Bale like most typical prodigal players made a mark in his teens and made his International Debut for Wales at the age of 16 against Trinidad and Tobago. Though he started early, Bale was a player who sadly didn’t have as much clarity regarding his position, and as he entered his 20s, he failed to make an instant impact until he had his breakthrough 2012-13 Season with Tottenham Hotspur. Now Bale is a Crucial part of the Wales National Team and is also the Top Scorer for his Country.

 

2. The unlucky Spurs start

We won’t say the Start to his Tottenham Career was jinxed, but you can’t deny that it was the mother of all coincidences. Bale went on to make 25 appearances at the start of his Career with Spurs, and the London Club went on to lose each of those first 25 Games. Bizarre fact considering that just two years later Gareth Bale would be carrying the weight of the Team on his shoulders. 

 

3. Alcohol and Bale just don’t Mix

Something a lot of people don’t know is that Gareth Bale is a teetotaller and refrains from drinking any kind of Alcoholic beverage. He has confessed why he chooses to do so, “I just don’t like to drink, to be honest. It’s not the fact that I choose not to drink alcohol. I just don’t like the taste of it. I’ve obviously tasted it, but I just don’t like it, so it doesn’t do anything for me to be honest.” Bale’s favourite drink is a Glass of Coldwater. An ideal Sportsperson isn’t he?

 

4. Holds quite an impressive individual honours record in England

Gareth Bale holds a record that is only held by two other players, Former Real Madrid Teammate Cristiano Ronaldo and Andy Gray. All three of these Players went on to win The PFA Player of the Year and the PFA Young Player of the Year award in the same year. Bale won it in 2013, Gray won it 1977, and Ronaldo won it in 2007. Not bad company to be part of eh?

 

5. The story behind the Heart shaped celebration

Every Player has his iconic Celebration and it’s a well-known fact that Gareth Bale makes a heart with his fingers to celebrate the Goals he scores. But what’s the story behind it? Bale incorporated the Celebration to dedicate his Goals to his High School sweetheart Emma Rhys-Jones and like most cheesy stories in football, obviously, the Couple is engaged to be married and have a third Child on the way. 

Real Madrid 1 – 2 Levante | La Liga Highlights 2018/19

Real Madrid 1 - 2 Levante | La Liga Highlights 2018/19

Real Madrid finally ended their record goalscoring drought in a 2 – 1 home defeat against Levante.


Real Madrid worsened the strain on new head coach Julen Lopetegui fell to their fourth defeat in five games with a shock 2-1 defeat to Levante at the Santiago Bernabeu. Los Blancos broke an undesired club record, set back in 1985, of 464 minutes without scoring through Marcelo‘s late strike.

Julen Lopetegui’s future was already being discussed following shocking losses to CSKA Moscow and Alaves just before the international break.

Jose Luis Morales scored the opener just seven minutes into the game after a defensive error from Raphael Varane which let the striker round off Thibaut Courtois and fire into the empty net.

The World Cup Winner was again guilty as Levante doubled their lead after a careless handball by the Real defender was initially given as a free-kick on the edge of the box but referee Guillermo Cuadra Fernandez changed his decision to a penalty after a consultation with the Video Assistant Referee. Roger Marti made it 2-0 from the spot soon after in the 13th minute.

Madrid thought they had made a speedy return when skipper Sergio Ramos headed a ball off the crossbar and Marco Asensio jumped at the opportunity. But VAR once again proved to be a catalyst of their downfall as it showed the Spanish attacker to be offside as Ramos headed the ball.

Real persisted to create a number of chances, with the new number 7 Mariano Diaz striking a header against the bar and Lucas Vazquez denied by an excellent save from the Levante stopper Oier Olazabal.

Levante seemed to have added a third before the break but Ruben Rochina‘s tap-in was discarded as Tono found himself offside before putting in a cross.

Gareth Bale came in for Alvaro Odriozola at the start of the second half as Real looked determined to find their way back. Luka Modric came close to firing one in but the Levante stopper came to the rescue once again pushing away the Croatian’s strike from inside the box.

Karim Benzema and Dani Ceballos came on to replace Spanish duo Isco and Asensio. The French striker was made a profound impact soon after coming on as Real Madrid finally ended the goal drought at 481 minutes, through Marcelo who smashed the ball into the roof of the net the after a cutback from Benzema in the 72nd minute.

Karim Benzema appeared to be a game changer as he spearheaded numerous attacks, almost scoring the equalizer but saw his shot from the outside the box hit the woodwork. Mariano then tucked home but saw the offside flag correctly raised, as Real’s hopeless attempts proved in vain as the home fans jeered at full-time.

Real host FC Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League before traveling to Camp Nou for the world famous El Clasico tie on 28th October.

Real Madrid 0 – 1 CSKA Moscow | UEFA Champions League Highlights

Real Madrid 0 - 1 CSKA Moscow | UEFA Champions League Highlights

Real Madrid faces defeat against Russian side CSKA Moscow in a surprising UEFA Champions League match that ended 1 – 0.

Head Coach Julen Lopetegui started the game with Luka Modric on the bench while Gareth Bale and Sergio Ramos missed out due to injury.

Nikola Vlasic‘s early goal settled CSKA Moscow‘s shocking victory over European champions Real Madrid on Wednesday. Vlasic benefited from a Toni Kroos mistake to fire a left-footed shot into the bottom right corner past Keylor Navas in the 2nd minute. Thereafter the Moscow players defended firmly and even endured the odd injury-time sending-off of goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev.

Toni Kroos tried to redeem himself but only managed to fire a shot straight at the opposition stopper Akinfeev, then Dani Ceballos headed just wide of the target from Marco Asensio‘s cross as Real Madrid displayed some fighting spirit. However, Madrid’s unusual defensive weakness surfaced again when Fedor Chalov had a chance stopped in the box and Nikita Chernov headed a decent chance wide from the following corner kick.

Casemiro came close to combining with Varane’s header beyond the face of goal as Madrid started to press, and the defensive midfielder almost got them level just before the half-hour mark when he hit the inside of the left post with a strong right footed shot from outside the box.

Akinfeev kept a Dani Carvajal shot from a difficult angle out just five minutes before the break and Los Blancos hit the bar for the second time in the first 40 minutes when Karim Benzema released a strong header to hit the woodwork.

Dani Carvajal came off due to injury just before the break, while Luka Modric replaced Casemiro on the hour-mark. Kroos came close yet again through a long-range effort that fizzed to the right of the target. With the score still 1-0 in Moscow’s favor, the game was extremely frenzied for the last 10 minutes.

Luka Modric headed a close-range effort just wide of the target and Mariano Diaz rattled the woodwork again, the third time for Real Madrid, in the 90th minute. Igor Akinfeev was bizarrely sent off for a plausible disagreement in the 96th minute, allowing teenage goalkeeper Georgi Krynats to play a small role in a game which ended up as one to remember for the Russian side.

Real Madrid faces Deportivo Alaves in their La Liga fixture on Saturday, 6th October before hosting FC Viktoria Plzen in their third Group G match in the UEFA Champions League on 24th October.

Also read: Real Madrid 0-0 Atletico Madrid | Goalkeepers Thrive In Goalless Draw

Salah wins the Puskas – Twitter reaction

Salah wins the Puskas - Twitter reaction

Mo Salah’s goal for Liverpool against Merseyside Rivals Everton was adjudged the best goal of the year last night at the award ceremony. From the many congratulation messages that he received, the Egyptian King also received a lot of backlash from the twitter world. Lets take a look at how the World reacted to Mo winning the Puskas award 2018

The Liverpool fans around the world wasted no time in showering praise on their Egyptian Hero. There were many tweets from all around the globe reminding the world of what Salah achieved during his first season at the Anfield club as he collected yet another individual award like PFA player of the year, Liverpool player of the year, and African player of the year. 

Some fans even conveyed their disappointment in the Liverpool starlet not making the FIFA PRO team, even though he finished third on the best player award nominee list, just like in the case where Courtois won the best goalkeeper but David De Gea made the FIFA PRO team over the Belgian

However, the fans of all other clubs were quick to point out that the Egyptian’s goal didn’t deserve to win the award. There were tweets suggesting that Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal against Juventus in the Champions League semi-final deserved to win the award, while others suggested that the Gareth Bale overhead kick against Liverpool in the Champions league final deserves to win the award. 

Others even suggested that Pavard’s goal for France at the world cup and even the Ruben Neves wonder strike deserved to win the award over the little Egyptian.

While the fans went on and on about why Salah shouldn’t have won the award, his Liverpool teammate James Milner wasted no time in congratulating Salah in a way only James Milner can. 

As the complaining and cribbing went on and on, the fans fail to realize that the winner is selected on the basis of a fan vote and hence it is the fan’s themselves who have selected a goal that may not even be the best goal that Salah scored last season. 

Real Madrid 3 – 0 Roma | UEFA Champions League

Real Madrid 3 - 0 Roma | UEFA Champions League

Real Madrid got their Champions League journey off to a winning start after a 3-0 victory over AS Roma.

The Spanish team Real Madrid, seeking to win the competition for the fourth year in a row dominated the match. They were frustrated at the beginning until Isco curled home a goal from 25 yards in the 45th minute. It took Julen Lopetegui‘s side 17 shots before they scored through Isco’s excellent free-kick, which he probably would not have been allowed if Cristiano Ronaldo was still in the club.

Gareth Bale added a second goal in 58th minute the when he ran onto Luka Modric‘s superb through ball. Bale, who has now scored 5 goals in 7 games this season, looked keen and hit the woodwork before shooting his game-clinching goal across Robin Olsen into the far corner of the net.

Second-half substitute Marco Asensio almost added a magnificent third when he shot in the box but his no-look shot was well saved by Olsen’s leg. On the other side of the pitch, Edin Dzeko‘s header was kept out by Navas, who was preferred to summer signing Thibaut Courtois in goal for Real. Last season’s semi-finalists Roma were second best throughout, although Cengiz Under forced a good diving save from Keylor Navas.

Mariano Diaz shot a late goal from 20 yards for a deserved third in the 91st minute. It was 25-year-old striker’s first game since returning to the club from Lyon for £29.7m and produced a dominant performance. 

However, these two teams will probably be the favourites to progress from Group G, which also contains Czech side Viktoria Plzen and CSKA Moscow. 

Real Madrid host Espanyol on Saturday in La Liga, with Roma visiting Bologna on Sunday in Serie A. In the next Champions League fixtures on Tuesday, 2nd October, Roma host Viktoria Plzen while Real face CSKA Moscow.

Inter 2 – 1 Tottenham

 

Real Madrid vs Roma – Combined XI | UEFA Champions League

Real Madrid vs Roma - Combined XI | UEFA Champions League

Real Madrid start their defense of the UEFA Champions League title for the third consecutive time on Thursday, with last year’s semi-finalists AS Roma visiting the Bernabeu for a Group G clash of the proverbial titans.

Match Preview

Here, we pick the Combined XI from the stars of Real Madrid & AS Roma for their upcoming UEFA Champions League fixture.

Formation: 4-4-2

Goalkeeper – Thibaut Courtois (Real) 

Real Madrid’s Goalkeeper scenario is presumably stronger than any other side in Europe. With two world-class keepers in Keylor Navas, the UEFA Champions League Goalkeeper of the year, and Thibaut Courtois, FIFA World Cup  2018 Golden Glove winner. Both of them are considered leagues above the new Roma stopper Robin Olsen.

Right Back – Alessandro Florenzi (Roma) 

Despite Roma performing below average in the start of this season, their wing-back Alessandro Florenzi has been excellent, registering a goal and an assist in just 3 matches this season. He gets the nod ahead of experienced Spanish fullback Dani Carvajal.

Centre Back – Kostas Manolas (Roma) 

Greek veteran Kostas Manolas is considered as one of the best defenders in Europe since the last 5 years. The 27-year-old gets picked ahead of Raphael Varane simply due to his transcendent experience.

Centre Back – Sergio Ramos (Real)

The skipper has taken over penalty duties since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo. The 32-year-old defender still retains his position as one of the best in Europe. 

Left Back – Marcelo (Real)

Often considered the best left back in modern football, Marcelo is yet to find the net for Madrid this season and based on his attacking style of play, the Brazillian must be desperate for a goal.

Right Midfield – Gareth Bale (Real)

Gareth Bale has been in blistering form recently. The Wales international has scored 3 and assisted 2 in his opening four La Liga appearances this term.

Centre Midfield – Toni Kroos (Real)

Toni Kroos forms 1/2 of the best midfield in the World beside his Real Madrid partner Luka Modric.  

Centre Midfield – Luka Modric (Real)

The other half of the best midfield duo in the World and the UEFA Midfielder & Player of the Year and FIFA World Cup 2018 Golden Ball winner, Luka Modric is key to Real Madrid’s success.

Left Midfield – Marco Asensio (Real)

https://twitter.com/RMACFrance/status/1039596728503214080

The talented Spaniard is yet to open his account for Madrid this season. Marco Asensio will hope he can score when it matters, in the biggest competition in Europe.

Striker – Edin Dzeko (Roma)

Edin Dzeko remains one of the star names in the Roma team sheet. An effective striker when provided adequate service, Dzeko will be key to finding the net against the Spanish giants. 

Striker – Karim Benzema (Real)

Karim Benzema seems to have found his feet early this season. The French striker has scored 4 goals in his 4 games in the La Liga this season.