Basel – Real Madrid match preview: Los Blancos to seal top spot

Basel – Real Madrid match preview: Los Blancos to seal top spot

Basel Real Madrid preview

Real Madrid will look to seal the first spot in Group B as they pay a visit to Basel. Only a disaster would prevent Los Blancos from finishing the group stage in first position, as they would have to lose for at least four goals in Switzerland.

Any other result would be enough for Carlo Ancelotti men, so the Italian will have a chance to rotate the team and let some of the regular starters rest.

Thus, Daniel Carvajal and Marcelo are likely to sit on the bench, leaving the full-back positions for Alvaro Arbeloa and Fabio Coentrao, who returned from injury last weekend. In goal, Keylor Navas is expected to get a chance to prove his value.

Raphael Varane will also return to the starting line-up, replacing Pepe, who will be out due to muscle fatigue. Sami Khedira and Luka Modric will also miss the game through injury.

In midfield, Asier Illarramendi could come in to pair with Toni Kroos, replacing either Isco or James Rodriguez. Meanwhile, Chicharito Hernandez should feature up front, with Karim Benzema most likely being picked to get some rest.

Basel will look to deny Liverpool the chance to qualify for the next round. The will earn the remaining spot if they win and Liverpool fail to beat Ludogorets. It’s a difficult task for the hosts, since they will have to break Los Merengues run of 14 consecutive matches won.

Paulo Sousa will miss Ivanov and Streller due to injury, while Sio and Xhaka are a doubt.

Possible line-ups:

Basel: Vaclik; Degen, Frei, Samuel, Safari; Delgado, Schar, Zuffi; Kakitani, Embolo, Gashi.

Real Madrid: Navas; Arbeloa, Varane, Ramos, Coentrao; Bale, Illarramendi, Kroos, Isco; Chicharito, Ronaldo.