LISBON, Sporting Alert – Karim Benzema and James Rodríguez are only on the bench today for Real Madrid in their Champions League Group F against Sporting CP at Estadio Jose Alvalade.
Head coach Zinedine Zidane has opted to leave the two-star studded attackers on the bench, but still named a super starting lineup for this clash.
Real Madrid are seeking at 20th last 16 round place and are the pundits’ favourites to get the job done.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bales will lead the attack for the Spanish La Liga leaders, while Zidane has also decided to start Lucas Vazquez in the attack.
Ronaldo, who scored his 39th hat-trick at the weekend, is the man playing as the centre-forward today, despite Benzema returning to fitness.
Luka Modric will anchor things in the midfield, with Mateo Kovacic also starting in the middle.
Spanish international Isco will feature in a supporting role for the main attackers.
Joining Benzema and James on the bench are Fabio Coentrao, Marco Asensio, Danilo, Nacho and Kiko Casilla.
The last time Real Madrid and Sporting met in Lisbon the game ended 2-2 during the 2000/01 campaign.
Real Madrid scored two late goals to secure a 2-1 victory over Sporting when they met at the Santiago Bernabeu on September 14.
William Carvalho, Adrien Silva, Bruno Cesar, Bas Dost and Bryan Ruiz are among the starters for Sporting CP.
A win or a draw for Real Madrid today would see Sporting eliminated from the Champions League, while the Spanish side hope to collect the three points that would keep them on pace to still win the group.
Sporting: Rui Patricio, Joao Pereira, Coates, Ruben Semedo, Marvin, Carvalho, Gelson, Adrien, Bryan Ruiz, Bruno Cesar, Bas Dost. Subs: Beto, Schelotto, Paulo Oliveira, Elias, Campbell, Markovic, Andre
Real Madrid: Keylor Navas, Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo, Modric, Kovacic, Isco, Bale, Ronaldo, Lucas Vazquez. Subs: Kiko Casilla, Nacho, Benzema, James, Coentrao, Asensio, Danilo.