Real Madrid welcome local rivals Leganes to the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday as they look to keep up their 100% start to the 2017/18 La Liga campaign.
So far, Julen Lopetegui has not strayed too far from the nucleus built by Zinedine Zidane and Florentino Perez over the past three years – Cristiano Ronaldo aside – and it does not look as though the former Spain coach will anytime soon.
However, there could be at least two changes to the starting XI which saw Los Blancos overcome an impressive Girona side last time out.
So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at Real’s potential starting lineup…
1. Goalkeeper & Defenders
Keylor Navas (GK) – Despite Thibaut Courtois’ big money move from Chelsea over the summer, the Belgian is yet to play a minute of La Liga football this year. Navas is expected to retain his starting spot in spite of off-season speculation.
Dani Carvajal (RB) – Recently included in Spain’s latest squad for the upcoming international fixtures, Carvajal is expected to start here.
Raphael Varane (CB) – There could be a return for Varane following his slow reintegration into the squad after France’s World Cup success.
Sergio Ramos (CB) – Recently named Best Defender for the 2017/18 Champions League, Ramos will start here.
Marcelo (LB) – The Brazilian will be looking to help Real Madrid pick up their second clean sheet in La Liga this season.
Luka Modric (CM) – Similarly to the aforementioned Varane, Modric is another who has yet to be called upon by Lopetegui to start games since the beginning of the La Liga campaign – despite picking up UEFA’s Men’s Player of the Year Award on Thursday evening in Monaco.
After a summer of speculation, it appears that the 32-year-old will remain with Los Blancos – until January, at least – and the closing of the window could certify the Croatian’s commitment in his Spanish coach’s mind.
Casemiro (CM) – Alongside the prospective returning playmaker, Casemiro looks set to hold down his spot – with Leganes’ 2-1 Copa del Rey victory at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in January enough to make Lopetegui wary of his opposition.
Isco (CM) – Meanwhile, Toni Kroos may be forced to make way following the impressive form of Isco.
Gareth Bale (RW) – The Welshman continues to impress in Cristiano Ronaldo’s absence, already registering two goals and an assist in two La Liga games.
Karim Benzema (ST) – Despite a successful season in terms of silverware, Benzema had a campaign to forget last time out – netting just five times in 32 showings for the eventual third-place finishers.
However, the Frenchman seems to have put his underwhelming form behind him this term, already chalking up two from two, and the potential to add to that against the lesser Leganes on Sunday.
Marco Asensio (LW) – The 22-year-old won two penalties that turned the game in Catalonia last weekend.