Is this the Real side to take on United Mourinho tipped to start Ronaldo alongside Ozil and Benzema in Champions League clash
10:44 GMT, 11 February 2013
11:21 GMT, 11 February 2013
The fervent speculation over which players will take the field for the biggest Champions League match of the season – perhaps the decade – has already begun over in Madrid.
And Spanish newspaper Marca claim they have Jose Mourinho's selection to take on Manchester United at the Bernabeu on Wednesday night.
Of course, the Special One will take no chances and name his strongest eleven for the round of 16, first leg match as Real seek to build a useful lead to take to Old Trafford.
I pick you! Jose Mourinho will have no place for Luka Modric, Michael Essien or Kaka in his starting XI to face Manchester United in the Champions League showdown on Wednesday night
And the paper says the chosen players will be: Diego Lopez, Alvaro Arbeloa, Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Fabio Coentrao, Xabi Alonso, Sami Khedira, Angel di Maria, Mesut Ozil, Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema.
Marca claim that Mourinho will restore Pepe, Ozil, Xabi Alonso, Sami Khedira and Benzema after leaving them out of the side that beat Sevilla 4-1 at home on Saturday night.
It means Michael Essien, Raul Albiol, Luka Modric, Kaka and Gonzalo Higuain will likely make way.
For the chop: Luka Modric played for Real in their 4-1 win over Sevilla at the weekend, but he's likely to be dropped for the visit of United
Contender: Mourinho could favour Michael Essien (right) at right-back, as was the case for the recent Copa del Rey match with Barcelona
Pepe took an important step towards his return from ankle surgery with a 25-minute cameo against Sevilla.
The Portugal international has been back in training for 10 days and his cause is further helped by news that Raphael Varane, the other possible partner for Sergio Ramos, is struggling for fitness.
Old friends: Cristiano Ronaldo, in excellent form after a hat-trick on Saturday, will spearhead Real's attack against his old club Man United
Marca believe Mourinho may consider playing Essien at right-back and shifting Arbeloa over to the left-hand side – as in the recent Copa del Rey 'Clasico' with Barcelona.
The rest of the team is set in stone, with Real not short of attacking firepower with Khedira and Alonso in the middle of the park and Ozil, Di Maria, Ronaldo and Benzema beyond.
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: WHO WILL REAL MADRID PICK
Real Madrid predicted line-up: Diego
Lopez, Arbeloa, Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Coentrao, Xabi Alonso, Sami Khedira,
Di Maria, Ozil, Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema
Real Madrid line-up v Sevilla:
Diego Lopez, Arbeloa, Sergio Ramos, Albiol, Coentrao, Essien, Modric,
Benzema (Callejon), Kaka (Pepe), Cristiano Ronaldo (Morata), Higuain
Substitutes not used: Carvalho, Ozil, Khedira, Adan