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Champions League: Real Madrid coach Zidane drops Casemiro, recalls Karim Benzema for Bayern Munich clash

Casemiro started on the bench for the first time in this season's knock-out stage, with Mateo Kovacic coming into a three-man midfield alongside Toni Kroos and Luka Modric.

Published: 02nd May 2018 12:32 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd May 2018 12:32 AM   |  A+A-

Real Madrid's Karim Benzema celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during the Champions League semifinal second leg soccer match between Real Madrid and FC Bayern Munich at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday, May 1, 2018. |

By AFP

MADRID: Zinedine Zidane sprung a surprise by dropping Casemiro for Real Madrid's Champions League semi-final second leg against Bayern Munich on Tuesday. 

Casemiro started on the bench for the first time in this season's knock-out stage, with Mateo Kovacic coming into a three-man midfield alongside Toni Kroos and Luka Modric.

There was no place again for Gareth Bale at the Santiago Bernabeu as Marco Asensio and Karim Benzema supported Cristiano Ronaldo in attack. Lucaz Vazquez was set to start at right-back in place of the injured Dani Carvajal. 

Bayern were missing a number of key players, including Javi Martinez, Jerome Boateng, Arjen Robben, Arturo Vidal and Manuel Neuer. 

Corentin Tolisso replaced Martinez in midfield while Niklas Suele was brought into central defence. James Rodriguez, on loan from Real, started against his parent club.

Starting line-ups for the Champions League semi-final, second leg between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich at the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday (kick-off 1845 GMT; Real Madrid lead 2-1 from first leg):

Bayern Munich (4-4-1-1).

Sven Ulreich; Joshua Kimmich, Mats Hummels, Niklas Suele, David Alaba; Thomas Mueller (capt), Thiago Alcantara, Corentin Tolisso, Franck Ribery; James Rodriguez, Robert Lewandowski.

Coach: Jupp Heynckes (GER).

Real Madrid (4-3-3).

Keylor Navas; Lucas Vazquez, Sergio Ramos (capt), Raphael Varane, Marcelo; Mateo Kovacic, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos; Marco Asensio, Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema.

Coach: Zinedine Zidane (FRA).

Referee: Cuneyt Cakir (TUR).

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