After many pre-season tests, Carlo Ancelotti will start his reign at Real Madrid with a La Liga match home against Betis. The Italian manager will finally reveal his preferences for the starting eleven, as the arrival of new players this summer has created more competition for places within the squad.
The good performance of Casemiro, Carvajal and Diego Lopez in the pre-season has made the Italian think about whether to include them among the starters or keep Khedira, Arbeloa and Casillas in the team.
Raphael Varane, Asier Illarramendi and Xabi Alonso have been ruled out due to injuries, and that has left a spot among the starters for Pepe and Luka Modric.
Real are unbeaten this summer and have played an attractive style of football, which they hope to maintain in their first game at Santiago Bernabeu under Ancelotti’s reign.
Betis also start a new era, after the departure of their best player, Benat Etxebarria, to Athletic Bilbao. Promising Nigerian playmaker Nosa Igiebor and new signing Joan Verdu will take Benat’s role.
The Andalucians have lost the last two games of their pre-season, against Everton and Hull City, and they are not very confident about their game.
Betis manager Pepe Mel and right-back Juanfran will return to the place where they started, as they both grew up playing in Real Madrid youth teams.
Probable line ups:
Real Madrid: Casillas; Carvajal, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo; Modric, Casemiro; Ronaldo, Isco, Ozil; Benzema.
Betis: Andersen; Chica, Perquis, Paulao, Nacho; Matilla, Nosa; Cedric, Verdu, Juanfran; Molina.