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TEAM NEWS: Varane in ahead of Pepe for Real Madrid against Manchester United

TEAM NEWS: Varane in ahead of Pepe for Real Madrid against Manchester United

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The 19-year-old center back returns to the heart of Los Blancos' defense while Shinji Kagawa starts in midfield for Sir Alex Ferguson's side at the Santiago Bernabeu

Jose Mourinho has chosen to include Raphael Varane alongside Sergio Ramos in the center of Real Madrid's defense for the Champions League clash against Manchester United this evening.

The young Frenchman had been struggling with a hamstring injury in recent weeks, but starts tonight ahead of Raul Albiol and Pepe.

Elsewhere Xabi Alonso shakes off a groin injury to start in the deep-lying midfield positions alongside Sami Khedira.

Up front, Karim Benzema is preferred to Gonzalo Higuain, while Diego Lopez continues in goal in the absence of the injured Iker Casillas.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Mesut Ozil and Angel Di Maria make the attacking three that will support Benzema.

For Manchester United, Nemanja Vidic misses out because of injury, with Jonny Evans partnering Rio Ferdinand at center back for the English side.

Rafael is handed the task of marking Cristiano Ronaldo, while the Red Devils start with three attacking players in the form of Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck.


Real Madrid (4-2-3-1):
Lopez; Arbeloa, Ramos, Varane, Coentrao; Khedira, Alonso; Di Maria, Ozil, Ronaldo; Benzema

Subs: Adan, Pepe, Carvalho, Essien, Kaka, Modric, Higuain.

Manchester United (4-4-2): De Gea; Rafael, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra; Carrick, Jones, Kagawa, Welbeck; Rooney, van Persie

Subs: Lindegaard, Smalling, Valencia, Anderson, Giggs, Cleverley, Hernández.

More to follow...

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