Casemiro has developed into one of the world's finest defensive midfielders and tonight he faces a stern test of his credentials against Manchester City and one of his compatriots.
The Brazilian's job will be to break up Man City's attacks at the source and that's quite a job, with Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva and Bernardo Silva all talented operators who earn their money by creating chances out of nothing. Casemiro will have assistance from his midfield colleagues Federico Valverde and Toni Kroos but as the specialist defensive midfielder, a lot is expected from the 27-year-old tonight.
Another specialist defensive midfielder, Fernandinho, usually fulfils a similar role for Man City but because of injuries to key defenders, the 34-year-old has spent most of this season in the centre of Pep Guardiola's defence. The two Brazilians won't be in direct combat but both will attempt to exert their physical and tactical influence on the contest.
It's not an exaggeration to suggest that the individual performances of Casemiro and Fernandinho will be pivotal to the outcome of this tie.
⚪️ Real Madrid likely XI (4-3-3)
Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, F. Mendy; Casemiro, Kroos, Valverde; Bale, Benzema, Isco
🌃 Man City likely XI (4-3-3)
Ederson; Walker, Fernandinho, Laporte, B. Mendy; Rodri, De Bruyne, D. Silva; B. Silva, Aguero, Sterling
With both sides employing similar systems and styles, this should be a fascinating test for both sets of players and we can't wait for kickoff.
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