The reigning champions name an unfamiliar starting line-up for their Liga match at the Santiago Bernabeu, with a Copa del Rey Clasico in the coming week
Sami Khedira and Xabi Alonso are the players that make way for Essien and Modric, while in defence Sergio Ramos plays at right-back and Ricardo Carvalho partners Raul Albiol in the middle of a back four.
Los Blancos are without their No. 1 goalkeeper Iker Casillas after he broke his thumb during the most recent game against Valencia, while Pepe remains sidelined with an ankle injury.
New signing from Sevilla, Diego Lopez, is named on the bench for Madrid with Antonio Adan chosen to start this league fixture.
The visiting side line up in a 4-5-1 formation, as Adrian Colunga plays the role of lone striker. A former Madrid academy player Pablo Sarabia starts in midfield for Luis Garcia's side, while the club's top Liga scorer, Diego Castro, returns from suspension.
The side are without Medhi Lacen and Abdel Barrada, who are both at the Africa Cup of Nations representing Algeria and Morocco respectively.
Real Madrid (4-2-3-1): Adan; Ramos, Carvalho, Albiol, Coentrao; Essien, Modric; Di Maria, Ozil, Ronaldo; Higuain.
Subs: Lopez, Varane, Khedira, Benzema, Alonso, Marcelo, Callejon.
Getafe (4-2-3-1): Moya; Valera, Lopo, Alexis, M. Torres; Castro, Sarabia, Borja, Gavilan, X. Torres; Colunga
Subs: Codina, Alvaro, Alcacer, Rafa, Michel, Fraile, Diego Benito.