No Gareth Bale in Guillem Balague's combined Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid XI

Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid walks away from celebrating Atletico Madrid players after Atletico beat Real 1-0 in the La Liga
Image: How many Real Madrid players make Guillem Balague's combined XI with Atletico?

Ahead of the Champions League final in Milan between Madrid rivals Real and Atletico, Sky Sports' Spanish football expert Guillem Balague selects his combined XI... and there is no place for Gareth Bale.

Balague's team - 4-3-3: Jan Oblak; Juanfran, Sergio Ramos, Diego Godin, Marcelo; Saul Niguez, Luka Modric, Koke; Antoine Griezmann, Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Guillem Balague's combined Atletico-Real XI

In goal, there is little to choose between Jan Oblak and Keylor Navas, although Oblak has had fewer shots to deal with this season. He is comfortable with the ball at his feet, strong on crosses, good on one-on-one situations and unquestionably the best goalkeeper in La Liga this season.

I believe above all he is also a better example of what is expected these days from a modern goalkeeper, although it must also be said that Navas is certainly no slouch.

Jan Oblak of Atletico Madrid
Image: Jan Oblak has been in fine form for Atletico this season

In central defence, there is little to choose between the two sides, although in the area of full backs Dani Carvajal and Marcelo are not, in my opinion, as good defensively as Juanfran and Filipe Luis are.

One thing is unquestionable; Real Madrid's front three is without a single shadow of a doubt more powerful than Atletico's.

MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 27:  Saul Niguez of Atletico Madrid beats David Alaba, Arturo Vidal and Juan Bernat of Bayern Munich as he scores
Image: Saul Niguez makes Balague's combined XI in midfield

Granted, with a conversion rate of just 13 per cent, and despite a staggering goal tally this season, Ronaldo is unquestionably less efficient that he was.

Also See:

We look at the best of Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo in La Liga this season

But nobody in Europe has more shots than him, and he ends the season in a rich vein of goalscoring form. While he is not at his physical peak, he is certainly in better nick than he was before his last Champions League final, and the World Cup back in 2014.

Antoine Griezmann celebrates scoring with his team-mates during the UEFA Champions League semi-final
Image: Antoine Griezmann has scored 32 goals for Atletico this season

He will certainly be looking to make a serious impact on this game and to that end will be ably supported by the excellent Karim Benzema. who has more than compensated for him when he has fallen slightly short.

Watch Griezmann's finest moments for Atletico in the Primera Division in 2015/16

The jewel in Atletico's attacking crown comes in the shape of Antoine Griezmann, who just gets better and better. He is now, in my opinion, one of the top five players in world football, not just because of his individual brilliance, but also because of his overall contribution with and without the ball for the team's cause.

Gareth Bale has suffered niggling injuries for much of the season
Image: Welshman Gareth Bale does not make Balague's XI

Around Sky