REAL MADRID | STARTING XI
The fans agree with Ancelotti: Casillas is number one
AS.com readers have chosen their starting XI for the Betis game: Casillas, Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Xabi, Modric, Özil, Cristiano, Isco and Benzema.
The pre-season has left Real Madrid's fans with a sweet taste in the mouth, with the team appearing regenerated after the difficult times at the end of the ‘Mou era’. With the exception of the draw against Lyon Ancelotti’s team have won all their games and shown a promising style of play in convincing triumphs over rivals of the stature of Chelsea and Inter.
Having seen the team in action, with new signings Casemiro, Isco and Carvajal (Illarramendi is still recovering from a niggling injury) the readers of AS.com have voted for their starting line-up for the new season and the first game against Betis.
Last season under Mou was plagued with controversy over who should be in goal with the previously undisputed number one Casillas being dropped by the Portuguese coach. However the Real Madrid fans who took part in our survey think the situation is clear, with Casillas receiving three times as many votes as Diego López, 12,000 to 4,000.
The starting line-up as decided by the survey would be:
Iker Casillas; Carvajal, Varane, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo; Xabi Alonso, Modric, Özil, Isco, Cristiano Ronaldo and Benzema.
In defence the voting was heavily in favour of Ramos and Varane over Pepe, while Marcelo and Carvajal would be out wide. The fans are clear that they want to see Arbeloa on the bench along with Coentrao, the player in the entire squad who received least votes.
In the midfield Isco won himself a place with his fine performances over the summer, receiving the most votes. Modric would also start along with Xabi Alonso, although he was run close by Casemiro, who for many was the revelation of the pre-season. Illarramendi was punished for his physical issues and lack of playing time and received the second lowest total of votes. Kaká too would miss out and it seems that despite his good performance against Inter the Madrid fans have lost faith in him.
Up front, and with more support than for Cristiano, is Benzema, who is also far ahead of Di María and the two youngsters, Morata and Jesé. Morata had a slight advantage over his Jesé.