Real Madrid team news: Bale benched as Ronaldo returns for Bayern semi-final

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The Blancos will be looking to book their place in another Champions League final at Santiago Bernabeu, with Zinedine Zidane's side holding a 2-1 lead

Gareth Bale has been left on the bench again by Real Madrid for the second leg of their Champions League semi-final with Bayern Munich, but Cristiano Ronaldo is brought back into the fold.

Zinedine Zidane has chosen to overlook his Wales international forward as the Blancos take aim at another final appearance in Europe’s elite club competition.

Bale was among the goals in La Liga action against Leganes on Saturday, but Real shuffled their pack for that fixture in an effort to keep key men fresh.

Ronaldo was left out of the matchday squad in order to prevent him from picking up any untimely knocks, with the Portuguese slotting straight back into the starting XI for a crunch clash at Santiago Bernabeu.

He drew a rare blank in a 2-1 first leg victory over Bayern, but continues to top the Champions League goal charts this season with 15 efforts to his name – and 42 across all competitions.

Karim Benzema will provide attacking support alongside Real’s talisman, with Marcos Asensio and Luka Modric offering creativity from deep.

Elsewhere, Casemiro drops out to be replaced by Mateo Kovacic, Isco misses out through injury and Lucas Vazquez will provide cover at right-back.

Real Madrid team: Navas; Marcelo, Ramos, Varane, Lucas; Kovacic, Kroos, Modric, Asensio; Ronaldo, Benzema.

Subs: Casilla, Nacho, Bale, Casemiro, Theo, Mayoral, Ceballos.

Bayern Munich team: Ulreich; Alaba, Hummels, Sule, Kimmich; James, Tolisso, Thiago; Ribery, Lewandowski, Muller.

Subs: Starke, Wagner, Martinez, Rafinha, Mai, Rudy, Dorsch.

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Javi Martinez is only fit enough to make the bench for Bayern, with Corentin Tolisso coming into Jupp Heynckes' midfield.

Youngsters Niklas Dorsch and Lars Lukas Mai are also included among the substitutes for the visitors.

James Rodriguez lines up against his parent club again during a two-year loan stint at the Allianz Arena.