Morientes backs Chicharito ahead of Bale, for Real Madrid attack

Former Spain international, Fernando Morientes, offered his view on who should partner Cristiano Ronaldo.

An iconic striker for Real Madrid, Liverpool and Valencia, during his own illustrious career, Fernando Morientes is perhaps well suited to give his analysis on attacking options, as Los Blancos prepare for their Champions League semi-final first-leg against Juventus.

Real Madrid travelled to Turin without French striker, Karim Benzema, who is still recovering from injury and didn't form part of the 20-man squad named by Carlo Ancelotti, which indicates the Italian coach will deploy a 4-4-2 formation.

Speaking with Cadena COPE, Morientes backed Mexican striker Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez, to form the most suitable pairing in attack with Cristiano Ronaldo, rather than Welsh star Gareth Bale.

He explained: "It's pretty clear to me - I would have Chicharito in attack alongside Cristiano."

As for the reasons for those thoughts, Morientes continued his evaluation, offering the view: "Chicharito has earned the opportunity for his own merits, aside from his capability to score goals. He shows intelligent movement off the ball and offers a lot of options for the central midfielders."

Insofar as Chicharito's specific attacking qualities, Morientes noted: "He's a player who can be decisive in looking for second ball situations, or opportunities inside the area."

Morientes also believes a good option for Gareth Bale, would be "to bring him on in the second half," as a 'plan B' for Real Madrid against Juventus.

Another reason Morientes feels Bale should be benched against Juventus, is to keep him fully fit for the next game in La Liga, underlining: "Real Madrid will need the Welshman against Valencia."

Indeed, beyond the test Real Madrid will face in Turin, as they seek to gain a strong advantage against Juventus in the Champions League, their La Liga encounter against Valencia is seen as a key encounter, which could dictate whether Los Blancos remain in the title race, or not.

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