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Higuain is chosen to lead the line for Los Blancos ahead of Karim Benzema, and Lass Diarra is preferred to Sami Khedira in the middle of the park.

Andres Guardado will make his full Valencia debut against Real Madrid, starting on the left wing.

Gonzalo Higuain has been given the nod ahead of Karim Benzema to start as the lone striker for Real Madrid in its opening match of the new Spanish Primer Division against Valencia.

The Argentine has impressed in preseason, and will start the match with support from Cristiano Ronaldo, Mesut Ozil, and Angel Di Maria in the Madrid attacking unit.

One selection decision from Jose Mourinho has come as somewhat of a surprise, as Lassana Diarra is preferred in the center of midfield to Sami Khedira, who was a regular starter for the Spanish champions last season.

Valencia start the match with two ex-Real Madrid stars in their starting XI. Roberto Soldado leads the line for the visitors and new summer signing Fernando Gago starts in the midfield engine room alongside Tino Costa. Ricardo Costa will partner Victor Ruiz at the back, and new recruit Joao Pereira will begin the match at right back.

Real Madrid (4-2-3-1): Casillas; Arbeloa, Pepe, Ramos, Coentrao; Alonso, Diarra; Di Maria, Ozil, Ronaldo; Higuain

Valencia (4-2-3-1): Alves; Pereira, R. Costa, Ruiz, Mathieu; T. Costa, Gago; Feghouli, Jonas, Guardado; Soldado

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