Xabi Alonso is expected to start for Real Madrid against Juventus tonight and Sergio Ramos will get the nod over Pepe in defence.
Speculation this week has been that Alonso would start Tuesday’s Champions League test in Turin, just three days on from a first start and only second appearance for Los Blancos after five months out on the sidelines with injury.
Reports today indicate that the 31-year-old will line up in midfield alongside Sami Khedira and Luka Modric, whilst defence will see Sergio Ramos pip Pepe for a spot alongside confirmed starter Raphael Varane.
Attack is expected to see Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo flank Karim Benzema, in Carlo Ancelotti’s 16th different starting XI from Madrid’s first 16 games of the season.
AS report that this is a record for a Coach to begin their stint at Madrid without repeating a starting line-up, eclipsing Manuel Pellegrini’s previous high of 14 matches in 2009-10.
Meanwhile, Antonio Conte is seen as still facing one selection decision ahead of kick-off, between placing Angelo Ogbonna or Kwadwo Asamoah at left-back.
The Italians are widely expected to shift once more to a 4-3-3 formation tried in the reverse fixture at the Santiago Bernabeu two weeks ago, with Fernando Llorente leading in attack.
Real Madrid: Casillas; Arbeloa, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Khedira, Alonso, Modric; Bale, Benzema, Ronaldo
Juventus: Buffon; Caceres, Barzagli, Bonucci, Ogbonna; Vidal, Pirlo, Pogba; Marchisio, Llorente, Tevez