Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti will hand a competitive debut to David Alaba in Los Blancos’ opening game of the season in La Liga versus Alaves.
The Austria international was a high-profile free transfer in the summer from Bayern Munich, and represents the only meaningful business Real Madrid have conducted so far in this transfer window.
It is certainly the end of an era for Real Madrid, at least at the back, as Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane have left the club after a decade-long partnership which has amassed numerous titles including four Champions League wins.
Now Alaba will need to emerge as the main man in the centre of defence.
In goal, Thibaut Courtois is a certainty and will be the number one for years to come.
Real Madrid have a number of players out for this game including three full-backs in Ferland Mendy, Alvaro Odriozola and Dani Carvajal.
That means a back four of Nacho, Eder Militao, Alaba and Marcelo will likely start.
Toni Kroos is a definite absentee which will provide an opportunity for Federico Valverde to start in the midfield three alongside Casemiro and Luka Modric. Dani Ceballos is also unavailable in that position.
Eden Hazard might not be fit to start after suffering a hamstring issue, which could mean a start on the left for Vinicius Junior.
Karim Benzema has recovered from coronavirus and will likely be available for Ancelotti.
As for the spot on the right, Gareth Bale could be given the opportunity to reignite his Real Madrid career under the Italian boss, with the pair having worked together to success in Ancelotti’s previous tenure at Santiago Bernabeu.
Martin Odegaard, Marco Asensio and Isco will be available from the bench.
Real Madrid predicted XI versus Alaves