Jese Rodriguez is the man entrusted with replacing Cristiano Ronaldo for Real Madrid’s short trip to Rayo Vallecano in La Liga this afternoon.
Zinedine Zidane makes five changes from the side that beat Villarreal 3-0 on Wednesday, starting with Pepe coming in for Sergio Ramos at centre-back.
There are then two alterations each in midfield and attack as Isco and Kovacic, who has played just 309 minutes since the Frenchman’s appointment in January, partner Luka Modric in the middle of the park and Gareth Bale – back after a slight knock – and Jese flank Karim Benzema up top.
The two sides’ last meeting came last December, when Madrid trounced Rayo 10-2 at the Santiago Bernabeu, resulting in Paco Jemez admitting his visitors had felt “abused”.
Rayo Vallecano: Juan Carlos; Quini, Amaya, Crespo, Tito; Hernandez, Jozabed, Trashorras, Embarba; Miku, Bebe
Subs: Dorado, Iturra, Manucho, Rat, Guerra, Yoel, Caballero
Real Madrid: Navas; Danilo, Varane, Pepe, Marcelo; Isco, Modric, Kovacic; Bale, Benzema, Jese
Subs: Ramos, Nacho, James, Casilla, Arbeloa, Vazquez, Modric
Referee: Hernandez Hernandez