Gonzalo Higuain has been given the nod ahead of Karim Benzema to start as the lone striker for Real Madrid in their opening match of the new Spanish Primer Division against Valencia.
The Argentine has impressed in pre-season, and will start the match with support from Cristiano Ronaldo, Mesut Ozil, and Angel Di Maria in the Madrid attacking unit.
One selection decision from Jose Mourinho has come as somewhat of a surprise, as Lassana Diarra is preferred in the centre of midfield to Sami Khedira, who was a regular starter for the Spanish champions last season.
Valencia start the match with two ex-Real Madrid stars in their starting XI. Roberto Soldado leads the line for the visitors and new summer signing Fernando Gago starts in the midfield engine room alongside Tino Costa. Ricardo Costa will partner Victor Ruiz at the back, and new recruit Joao Pereira will begin the match at right-back.
One of Mauricio Pellegrino’s other summer signings, Andres Guardado, is also handed a debut and will feature on the left-side of the attacking quartet.
Real Madrid (4-2-3-1): Casillas; Arbeloa, Pepe, Ramos, Coentrao; Alonso, Diarra; Di Maria, Ozil, Ronaldo; Higuain
Valencia (4-2-3-1): Alves; Pereira, R. Costa, Ruiz, Mathieu; T. Costa, Gago; Feghouli, Jonas, Guardado; Soldado