NPL Sports, 27th Jan: Real Madrid’s BBC forward trident will start a game for the first time in almost a year as the Merengue face a tough test away to Valencia. Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo last lined up in the same starting XI in May’s Champions League final victory over Juventus.
Since then 280 days have passed, with the trio unable to function together due to injury problems for Bale and Benzema at various points of the 2017-18 season. The BBC was reunited last week, however, when Benzema came on towards the end of Madrid’s 7-1 thrashing of Deportivo, and now play from the off at Mestalla against the high-flying Che.
The Merengue are indeed at near full-strength, with Sergio Ramos the only notable absentee from Zinedine Zidane’s favoured line-up as Nacho deputises at centre-back. But playmaker Isco has been banished from the match-day squad after reacting angrily to his substitution during the final minutes of Madrid’s Copa del Rey humiliation at the hands of Leganes midweek.
Valencia’s Possible Lineups:
Real Madrid’s Possible Lineups: