Real Madrid will have the opportunity to go back to the top of La Liga on Saturday when they travel to Elche in the first game of the weekend.
Against an opponent 15th in the Primera Division, Carlo Ancelotti’s side will start as hot favourites for the match, though they are coming off a disappointing 0-0 draw against Osasuna and have an important Champions League match with Shakhtar Donetsk to follow.
Nevertheless, Ancelotti’s plans for the week are eased by virtue of the fact that he has virtually a full squad to select from. All of his regular players will be available for the match in Elche, although he will be without Dani Ceballos, Fede Valverde and Gareth Bale due to injuries once more.
Madrid, of course, won their previous away match 2-1 against Barcelona in El Clasico, and they will likely draw their template for the weekend team from that. However, given such an intense run of fixtures, rotation is likely.
Much of the team is pinned down.
Karim Benzema will play in the No.9 role and the in-form Vini Jr will feature on the wing. In midfield, Casemiro and Toni Kroos remain likely starters, while the defence will be anchored by Eder Militao and David Alaba in the centre, plus Ferland Mendy on the left. Thibaut Courtois will, of course, start in goal.
Those players fighting to come into the starting XI include Eden Hazard, who was benched in midweek and remains linked with a move back to the Premier League, with former club Chelsea and Newcastle both interested. He faces competition from Rodrygo and Marco Asensio.
At right-back, Dani Carvajal featured in midweek and will want to get up to speed quickly after injury. The balance of probability means that he will start as this is an area where Madrid do not have much cover.
Eduardo Camavinga, meanwhile, is likely to make way in midfield for Luka Modric.
Ancelotti has plenty of options at his disposal, though.