Real Madrid fans’ main doubt about the 11 men that will face Atletico de Madrid is whether Albiol, Pepe or Carvalho will play along with Sergio Ramos at centre back.
Raphael’s Varane injury left a free spot in Real’s defense, and it looks like Albiol will be Mourinho’s pick. Pepe, who would have been Varane’s substitute in a normal situation, has had a confrontation with the manager over his decision to drop Casillas. And Carvalho has lost the coach’s confidence this season.
Thus, the defense will consist of Coentrao, Ramos, Albiol and Essien, who has pushed Arbeloa out of the right back spot in the last third of the season. Another candidate for that position is young Nacho, but Mourinho is not likely to let Castilla’s player appear in such an important game.
Mourinho will select a 4-2-3-1 formation, in which Xabi Alonso will more likely be accompanied by Khedira at the centre-half, with Modric in front of them as playmaker and Ozil on the right. The other option could be leaving Khedira on the bench, with Modric next to Alonso and Di Maria starting on the right.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema will lead the attack. Higuain and Kaka will be on the bench as possible game-changers for the second half.