(Sporting Alert) — Luka Modric is in the starting lineup for Real Madrid for tonight’s La Liga clash with Celta Vigo at Balaidos.

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Modric came off the bench to score against Manchester United in the Champions League win at Old Trafford in midweek and has been rewarded with a starting place.

He replaces Angel Di Maria, the man he also replaced in the second half at Old Trafford after the winger picked up an injury.

Michael Essien also comes into the midfield with Xabi Alonso on the bench, while Karim Benzema gets the nod over Gonzalo Higuain at the center forward position.

Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored the winner against his forward club Manchester United in the midweek also starts, with Jose Callejon, Sami Khedira and Mesut Ozil going from the opening 45 as well. Kaka is amongst the substitutes.

Real Madrid have won three of the last three big games, beating Barcelona twice in one week and Manchester United.

Celta Vigo: 13. Javi Varas 28. Jonathan Castro Otto 5. Andres Tunez 15. Vadim Demidov 3. Roberto Lago 4. Borja Oubina 8. Alex Lopez 23. Michael Krohn-Dehli 24. Augusto Fernandez 22. Quique de Lucas 10. Iago Aspas.

Real Madrid: 41. Diego Lopez 18. Raul Albiol 3. Pepe 12. Marcelo 6. Sami Khedira 19. Luka Modric 10. Mesut Ozil 15. Michael Essien 7. Cristiano Ronaldo 21. Jose Callejon 9. Karim Benzema.
Subs: 13. Antonio Adan 8. Kaka 11. Ricardo Carvalho 14. Xabi Alonso 17. Alvaro Arbeloa 20. Gonzalo Higuain 29. Alvaro Morata


Walter Hoyos joins SportingAlert as contributor for Spanish football and the Spain national team. I like to travel, one of the favourite things on my list, but I also like to just spend time with family and friends when I am not covering football games. Hope to dump into some of my readers some day.

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