TEAM NEWS: Nacho and Varane start for Madrid against Ajax

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has handed starts to Raphael Varane and Nacho for Los Blanco’s Champions League encounter with Ajax on Wednesday evening.

The Spanish champions have already booked their place in the last 16 and cannot claim the top spot in Group D, so the Portuguese has opted to rest some key players and freshen up his starting XI.

Alvaro Arbeloa is suspended so expect Fabio Coentrao to switch to right-back, with Nacho slotting in the opposite full-back position. Sergio Ramos and Pepe are rested, with Varane and Ricardo Carvalho coming in at centre-back.

Xabi Alonso has been given the night off and is not included in the squad, which means Luka Modric will drop into a deeper position in midfield. Kaka will feature in the hole just behind Karim Benzema in attack, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Jose Callejon supporting from the flanks.

Since the absence of Ryan Babel through injury, Ajax coach Frank De Boer has rotated the lone striker position domestically and in Europe. For the clash at Santiago Bernabeu he has given the nod to 18-year-old Danish striker Viktor Fischer.

Siem de Jong drops into his preferred position behind the centre-forward, having played as the lone striker in the previous Champions League match against Dortmund.

Real Madrid (4-2-3-1): Adan; Coentrao, Varane, Carvalho, Nacho; Khedira, Modric; Callejon, Kaka, Ronaldo; Benzema

Subs: Fernandez, Pepe, Ozil, Di Maria, Rodriguez, Cheryshev, Morata

Ajax (4-2-3-1): Vermeer; Van Rhijn, Alderweireld, Moisander, Blind; Poulsen, Eriksen; De Jong, Boerrigter, Hoesen; Fischer

Subs: Cillessen, Veltman, Dijks, Enoh, Schone, Sana, Lukoki

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