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No Casillas, Alonso or Benzema in Real and Atletico combi XI

| 23.05.2014

By the time the Champions League final is done and dusted, either Real Madrid will have won their 10th European Cup or their local rivals, Atletico, will be celebrating their first since 1973/74.

Ladbrokes have Los Blancos as the 17/20 favourites to win the match over the course of 90 minutes, with a draw at 12/5 and Diego Simeone’s side available at 10/3.

According to our attempts to combine the two squads, it’s Real that hold the advantage again with seven of their number included in the final XI.

Some of their big-names have failed to make the grade, in our opinion, but do you agree?


Young keeping superstar Thibaut Courtois is taken to don the gloves at the expense of Real Madrid icon Iker Casillas, a move that can barely be argued considering he’s the stopper for the Spanish title winners, while Casillas has lost his place to Diego Lopez domestically.

Three of the back four play at the Bernabeu though, with Portuguese pest Pepe the only one of Real’s regular defence to be overlooked. Diego Godin is picked in place of the 31-year-old as Sergio Ramos lines up alongside and teammates Daniel Carvajal and Marcelo.

In the middle of the park, Angel Di Maria’s transformation from winger to all-action midfielder sees him keep Atletico’s bright spark Koke out of the side. Luka Modric also features in our centre-circle trio, while Xabi Alonso is ousted by Los Rojiblancos’ Gabi due to the latter’s superior assist tally over the season.

The front three picks itself after a season of goal-plundering for all concerned. Karim Benzema is the man to feel the force of our swinging axe as Diego Costa’s 27 goals easily trumps his 17.

Either side of the nationalised Spaniard is assist-machine Gareth Bale and Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo who has bettered Costa’s La Liga tally by four this season.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.