Luka Modric starts against former team Tottenham Hotspur for Real Madrid in the Champions League tonight, but Gareth Bale is nowhere to be seen.

Modric spent four years with Tottenham between 2008 and 2012 before joining Madrid, and he partners Casemiro and Toni Kroos in a full-strength midfield.

However, Bale – who left Spurs for Los Blancos four years ago, in a then-world-record deal worth €100m – misses out completely as he recovers from yet another calf injury.

Dani Carvajal is also absent due to an ongoing heart problem, resulting in another appearance for teenager Achraf Hakimi at right-back, but Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema are selected in attack.

Tottenham, meanwhile, spring a surprise up top, where Fernando Llorente partners man-of-the-moment Harry Kane.

Llorente scored over 100 goals for Athletic Bilbao and Sevilla, as well as a further seven in 24 caps for Spain, with whom he lifted the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012.

Dele Alli, Victor Wanyama and Mousa Dembele are missing from the Lilywhites' midfield, but long-term casualty Danny Rose is named as a substitute.

These two sides last met competitively in the 2010-11 Champions League, when Madrid beat Spurs 4-0 on aggregate in the quarter-finals.

The visitors are managed by Mauricio Pochettino, who spent the majority of his playing career with Espanyol, prior to becoming their Coach for three years in 2009. 

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Real Madrid: Keylor; Achraf, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Isco; Benzema, Ronaldo

Subs: Casilla, Nacho, Theo, Lucas Vazquez, Marcos Llorente, Asensio, Ceballos

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris; Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davinson; Aurier, Sissoko, Dier, Winks, Eriksen; Kane, Fernando Llorente

Subs: Vorm, Foyth, Trippier, Rose, Walker-Peters, Georgiou, Son

Referee: Marciniak (POL)

Tags Tottenham Hotspur