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Jose Mourinho names a strong side for the short trip across the capital to Vallecas as Los Blancos look to extend their 10-point lead over Barcelona, who face Atletico later

Gonzalo Higuain starts up front in place of the injured Karim Benzema as Real Madrid look to win their ninth consecutive Primera Division clash away from home.

Madrid travel across the capital to face city rivals Rayo Vallecano, who have won their last three matches, and Jose Mourinho's men will look to extend their 10-point lead at the top of the table over fierce rivals Barcelona, with the Catalans in action nearby against Atletico Madrid later on Sunday.

Elsewhere, Marcelo comes in at left-back after Fabio Coentrao played in the 1-0 win at CSKA Moscow in the Champions League on Tuesday, with Kaka, Mesut Ozil and Cristiano Ronaldo charged with creating chances for Higuain.

Sami Khedira also starts after featuring in Moscow.

Rayo Vallecano (4-2-3-1): Joel; Tito, Pulido, Arribas, Casado; Javi Fuego, Movilla; Michu, Piti, Armenteros; Diego Costa

Subs: Cobeno, Delibasic, Lass, Raul Bravo, Diamanka, Trashorras, Tamudo

Real Madrid (4-2-3-1): Casillas; Arbeloa, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo; Khedira, Xabi Alonso; Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Ozil; Higuain

Subs: Adan, Carvalho, Coentrao, Granero, Albiol, Callejon, Joselu

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