The club captain of Los Blancos is forced to settle for a place amongst the substitutes as Jose Mourinho's men look to bounce back from the draw with Espanyol last weekend
Iker Casillas has been dropped to the bench for Real Madrid’s trip to face Malaga in the Spanish Primera Division.
Head Coach Jose Mourinho has opted to leave his club captain as a substitute, with Antonio Adan his replacement in goal. Michael Essien will also start the match, but features at left back instead of his favored role in the center of midfield.
Sami Khedira partners Xabi Alonso in the middle of the park, and Mesut Ozil is preferred to Luka Modric in the hole just behind Karim Benzema. Cristiano Ronaldo and Angel Di Maria start on the flanks.
Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini has handed a start to Sergio Sanchez at the back alongside Martin Demichelis, with Nacho Monreal and Jesus Gamez rounding off the back four.
Francisco Portillo also makes the starting XI, but will play in a slightly deeper role than his usual striker position. He features in midfield beside Isco, with Ignacio Camacho screening the back four in the anchorman position.
Malaga (4-2-3-1): Caballero; Gamez, Sanchez, Demichelis, Monreal; Camacho, Portillo; Eliseu, Isco, Joaquin; Saviola
Real Madrid (4-2-3-1): Adan; Arbeloa, Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Essien; Alonso, Khedira; Di Maria, Ozil, Ronaldo; Benzema