Real Madrid will look to extend their reign in La Liga and keep the first position in the table as they pay a visit to Sevilla, one of the strongest sides in the competition.
The Andalusians are not in their best state of form, but they have one of the most complete squads in Spanish football and will surely make things tough for Los Blancos, as they always do.
Rafa Benitez will miss Karim Benzema, Keylor Navas and Marcelo. The France international is supposed to be recovered from his injury, but the Los Merengues manager has chosen to keep him out, probably influenced by the legal problems Benzema has been involved in this week.
Navas played last Tuesday’s crucial match against Paris Saint-Germain despite suffering from muscle fatigue, and he will rest on Sunday as he did last weekend. Meanwhile, Marcelo suffered a hamstring injury against PSG and won’t be able to feature.
Daniel Carvajal and Gareth Bale , on the other hand, are completely recovered from their injuries and will travel to Seville, although none of them are expected to start, given their lack of fitness.
James Rodriguez is also ready to play, and he recently admitted he has been fit for the last two weeks. Yet, Benitez doesn’t seem convinced the Colombia international is yet in top shape and is not expected to include him in the line-up.
Thus, Jese Rodriguez is expected to start alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, while Nacho Fernandez should replace Marcelo at left-back. Kiko Casilla will be the starting goalkeeper.
Sevilla also have important loses, those of goalkeeper Beto and defenders Pareja and Carrico. Plus, their number nine, Kevin Gameiro, is a doubt due to a hamstring strain.
Sevilla: Rico; Coke, Rami, Kolodziejczak, Tremoulinas; Krychowiak, Banega; Vitolo, Iborra, Konoplyanka; Llorente.
Real Madrid: Casilla; Danilo, Varane, Ramos, Nacho Fernandez; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Isco, Ronaldo, Jese Rodriguez.