Fresh from a comfortable victory away to Deportivo in their opening game, Real Madrid now host Valencia on Sunday evening in their first La Liga match at the Santiago Bernabeu this season.
The defending champions will be without both Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos for the clash – due to pair severing suspensions – as they look to stretch their competitive winning streak to nine in a row.
Here is how Zinedine Zidane’s side could lineup at the Bernabeu on Sunday:
Real Madrid’s undisputed number one, Keylor Navas will once again take his place in between the sticks on Sunday.
Not only devastating in attack, Real Madrid also possess an almost impenetrable defence as they have not conceded more than one goal in their previous eight competitive fixtures.
However, they afforded too much space to Deportivo last week and must close down Valencia if they are to prevent another upset loss to Los Che – like last season.
Due to Ramos’s suspension, Zidane has limited options for cover: Raphael Varane or Nacho, with the latter likely to be given the nod to step-up and fill the void against Valencia.
This midfield four is incredibly balanced as it encompasses both defensive and attacking creativity and intelligence, with both Luka Modric and Toni Kruss pulling the strings to allow freedom to their forward playing teammates.
Despite Valencia likely to be coming into the game confident following their opening weekend victory, expect Zidane’s midfield to dominate possession and slowly force the visitors into making costly mistakes.
Zidane’s side haven’t failed to hit the scoreboard for 16 months, and despite the notable absence of Ronaldo – who is serving the third of his five-match ban – Real Madrid continue to be spoilt with choice in attack, as Marco Asensio will consider himself unlucky not to make the starting eleven.
The top two of Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema will be eager to combine again for another goal as they aim to help their side start the La Liga campaign with back-to-back victories.