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Pepe, Hernandez, Isco start for injury-hit Real

22 April 2015, 20:36

Madrid - Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti handed starts to Pepe, Isco and Javier Hernandez in place of injured trio Luka Modric, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema for his side's Champions League quarter-final, second leg against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday.

Normally a centre-back, Pepe is expected to move into midfield to offer extra protection to Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane with the tie finely balanced after a 0-0 draw in the first-leg.

Also read: Madrid absences won't affect Atletico - Simeone

Fabio Coentrao also starts for the first time since Madrid's 4-3 defeat at home to Schalke in the last round of the Champions League six weeks ago in place of the suspended Marcelo.

James Rodriguez will also move forward into the position normally occupied by Bale on the right alongside Hernandez and Cristiano Ronaldo in attack.

Just as in the second-leg of Atletico's last 16 victory over Bayer Leverkusen, captain Gabi is dropped to the bench with 20-year-old Saul Niguez coming into midfield.

Jesus Gamez gets the nod ahead of Guilherme Siqueira at left-back, whilst Mario Mandzukic has shrugged off an ankle problem to partner top scorer Antoine Griezmann up front.

Starting line-ups (kick off 1845 GMT):

Real Madrid (4-3-3):

Iker Casillas (capt); Dani Carvajal, Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane, Fabio Coentrao; Pepe, Toni Kroos, Isco; James Rodriguez; Javier Hernandez, Cristiano Ronaldo

Coach: Carlo Ancelotti (ITA)

Atletico Madrid (4-4-2)

Jan Oblak; Juanfran; Miranda, Diego Godin (capt), Jesus Gamez; Arda Turan, Koke, Tiago, Saul Niguez; Antoine Griezmann, Mario Mandzukic

Coach: Diego Simeone (ARG)

Referee: Felix Brych (GER)



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