David Alaba has been ruled out along with Gareth Bale, while Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio should start when Real Madrid face Rayo Vallecano.

Real Madrid will be aiming to stretch their lead atop the La Liga standings when they travel to Estadio de Vallecas to lock horns with Rayo Vallecano on Saturday evening

Leading up to the game, Real Madrid have been dealt with a double injury blow as key defender David Alaba and experienced forward Gareth Bale have been ruled out due to muscle problems. Confirming their absence in his pre-match press conference, manager Carlo Ancelotti said: “Bale isn’t going to play. He’s got a muscle problem this week like Alaba, and they’ll both miss the game. They’ll be back in training next week.”

Rayo Vallecano vs Real Madrid Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Tactics, Team News & Key Stats

Ancelotti is unlikely to make many changes to the team that defeated Deportivo Alaves 3-0 in their previous game. But Alaba’s injury will force the manager to alter things at the back, with Nacho Fernandez set to come into the starting XI. Eder Militao will be his partner at the heart of the Real Madrid defence, while Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy continue as full-backs.

Moving into the middle of the park, Ancelotti is expected to stick to his favoured trio of Casemiro, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos. The latter was rested for the game against Alaves last time out but should come in to replace Federico Valverde in midfield. Eduardo Camavinga will have to be content with a spot on the bench yet again.

Marco Asensio has been in good goalscoring form of late, and manager Ancelotti was full of praise for the Spanish international ahead of the game. “He’s clearly got a lot of quality, he can enjoy that and that’s better for the team,” the Italian tactician said. “He’s been playing really well, he’s motivated and in good physical condition.

“He’s proved to be the difference in many games He’s opened the scoring many times and he killed the game off against Atlético. They’re not just goals, they’re really important goals.”

Asensio should hold on to his place in the starting XI on the right flank, while there is no looking past Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior for the remaining two slots in the Real Madrid frontline.

Real Madrid Predicted XI: Courtois, Carvajal, Militao, Nacho, Mendy, Modric, Casemiro, Kroos, Asensio, Benzema, Vinicius.

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