MADRID (Sporting Alert) – Karim Benzema and Kaka start both on the bench for Real Madrid in their opening Spanish La Liga clash against Valencia at Santiago Bernabeu.
Kaka has been one of the subjects of a transfer move in the summer, but the Brazilian has impressed in preseason and manager Jose Mourinho wants him to stay.
Benzema is on the bench to day as Mourinho opted to start Gonzalo Higuain in the forward line, with Cristiano Ronaldo and the tricky Angel di Maria, who both had a good preseason on the right and left flanks.
Mesut Ozil, Xabi Alonso and Lassana Diarra will play in the middle, while goalkeeper Iker Casillas will lead from the back.
Mourinho has also decided to start with Marcelo on the bench, following the left-backs extended season with the Brazilian U23 side at the London Olympic Games.
Sami Khedira, Raul Albiol and Jose Callejon are all on the bench as well.
Meanwhile, Fernando Gago, Jonas and Roberto Soldado are amongst the starters for Valencia, which will be hoping to take something away from Madrid tonight.
Real Madrid v Valencia
Real Madrid: 1. Iker Casillas 17. Alvaro Arbeloa 3. Pepe 4. Sergio Ramos 5. Fabio Coentrao 14. Xabi Alonso 24. Lassana Diarra 10. Mesut Ozil 22. Angel di Maria 7. Cristiano Ronaldo 20. Gonzalo Higuain
Subs: 13. Antonio Adan 6. Sami Khedira 8. Kaka 9. Karim Benzema 12. Marcelo 18. Raul Albiol 21. Jose Callejon
Valencia: 1. Diego Alves 12. Joao Pereira 4. Adil Rami 20. Ricardo Costa 18. Victor Ruiz 22. Jeremy Mathieu 5. Fernando Gago 24. Tino Costa 8. Sofiane Feghouli 7. Jonas 9. Roberto Soldado
Subs: 26. Felipe Sanchez 6. David Albelda 11. Pablo Piatti 15. Jonathan Viera 17. Andres Guardado 16. Nelson Valdez 21. Daniel Parejo