REAL MADRID (Sporting Alert) — Cristiano Ronaldo, Mesut Ozil and Kaka are all amongst the starters for Real Madrid in today’s La Liga clash with Rayo Vallecano at Santiago Bernabeu.
Ronaldo and defending champions Real Madrid are 19 points behind leaders and arch rivals Barcelona in the La Liga standings and although they have already given up on retaining the title, the Jose Mourinho’s men will look to at least cut the deficit with a win over a very tough Rayo Vallecano side.
Karim Benzema and Jose Callejon are on the bench, so Alvaro Morat, and Kaka join Ronaldo in the attack, while Ozil, Sami Khedira and Michael Essien make up the three man midfield.
Fabio Coentrao, who had an impressive showing against Manchester United in the Champions League last week, Pepe, Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos make up the back line with Diego Lopez remaining in goal.
Defender Ricardo Carvalho and midfielders Angel Di Maria are also amongst the substitutes for Real Madrid.
Meanwhile, Leo Baptistao, who has been linked with a move to Manchester United, is amongst the starters today for Rayo Vallecano.
Real Madrid vs Rayo Vallecan
Real Madrid: (4-2-3-1) Lopez, Coentrao, Pepe, Varane, Ramos, Essien, Khedira, Ronaldo, Kaka, Ozil, Morat.
Subs: Adan, Albiol, Carvalho, Di Maria, Jose Rodriguez, Benzema, Callejon.
Rayo Vallecano: (4-2-3-1) Ruben, Manuel Casado, Figueras, Galvez, Tito, Fuego, Trashorras, Piti, Dominguez, Bangoura, Leo Baptistao.
Subs: Cobeno, Amat, Arbilla, Adrian, Carlos, Vazquez, Delibasic.