MX23RW : Friday, September 17 02:11:52| >> :120:11705:11705:
Sep 18, 2016 at 7.45pm UK at Estadi Cornellà-El Prat
Real Madrid
FT(HT: 0-1)
Rodriguez (45'), Benzema (71')

Team News: Karim Benzema, James Rodriguez handed first league starts

Real Madrid, without Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo, hand first league starts of the season to Karim Benzema and James Rodriguez for the trip to Espanyol.

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has named Karim Benzema and James Rodriguez in his starting lineup for this evening's clash against Espanyol.

It is the first time both players have featured from the off in a La Liga game this term, although Los Blancos will be without two of their other star forward players as both Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale are absent.

Benzema has slowly been integrated back into the fold this term, featuring for just 26 minutes in the league and a little over an hour in the Champions League win over Sporting Lisbon last time out, while Rodriguez has featured from the bench on two occasions.

Lucas Vazquez and Marco Asensio will flank Benzema in the absence of Bale and Ronaldo, in what is expected to be a 4-3-3 formation, with Rodriguez dropping into midfield alongside Luka Modric.

In terms of the hosts, Pape Diop comes into the side from last time out due to a suspension picked up by Javi Fuego, while Marc Roca makes his third league appearance for the Periquitos.

Espanyol: Diego Lopez; J.Lopez, D.Lopez, O.Duarte, Sanchez; Perez, Diop, Roca, Piatti; Baptistao, Moreno

Real Madrid: Casilla; Carvajal, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo; Casemiro, Modric, James; Lucas, Benzema, Asensio

Follow all of the action as it unfolds at the Estadi Cornella-El Prat with Sports Mole's live text coverage right here.

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James Rodriguez celebrates scoring during the La Liga game between Real Madrid and Eibar on April 9, 2016
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