Having booked passage to the Champions League round of 16 already, expect Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti to do some squad rotation on Wednesday night against Celtic. While they sit atop UCL Group F right now, they haven’t won it yet outright, and with RB Leipzig right there behind them, the impetus is there to maybe go full bore, perhaps.
Celtic brings up the foot of the group table, having taken just two points total from their disastrous European campaign.
Real Madrid vs Celtic UCL Group Stage FYIs
Kick: Wed, Nov 2. 6:45pm, Estadio Santiago Bernabeu
Competition: Group F, Match Day 6 of 6
UCL Form Guide Real Madrid LDWWW Celtic DLLDL
Google Result Probability: Real Madrid 79% Celtic 8% Draw 13%
Real Madrid Team News
There is only one major fitness concern/team news item to discuss here, but boy is it a big one- Karim Benzema. The Ballon D’or winner will remain out, as he continues recovering from his severe muscular fatigue. He’s missed some time, and the French national team will certainly hope that he can be fit and fresh for the World Cup.
With Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante set to miss the tournament already, the defending champions can’t afford any more injuries. In looking at a potential first team here, this could be a great opportunity for Eden Hazard to come back into the team.
And, if we may quote the legendary Homer Simpson, “nacho nacho nacho man, I want to be a nacho man.”
Real Madrid Starting XI Prediction vs Celtic (UCL)
Courtois; Mendy, Militao, Nacho, Vazquez; Kroos, Tchouameni, Camavinga; Hazard, Rodrygo, Asensio
Prediction: Real Madrid 2, Celtic 0
Look for Reyes del Europa to live up to their hype and billing.
Paul M. Banks is the Owner/Manager of The Sports Bank and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”Follow paulmbanks