With Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema, Varane, James, Di María and Khedira yet to rejoin the squad's training sessions, Real Madrid will play with a considerably weak starting lineup. The club announced this Starting XI on the official website.
Diego López, Carvajal, Pepe, Nacho, Llorente, Illarramendi, Medrán, Isco, Lucas Vázquez, Bale, De Tomás.
Jesús, Pacheco, Derik, Omar, Marcos Llorente and Sobrino will be on the bench.
With that lineup, Raúl De Tomás should be playing as a striker, with Bale on his usual right wing, but Marca and other media are reporting that the Welsh attacker is going to play in the center of the offensive line. But the most important aspects of the lineup are Isco and Illarramendi. Two players that had secondary roles last season and should take a step forward on the 2014-2015. Unluckily enough for them, Real Madrid's board and coaching staff don't like to wait, and players like Kroos and James will probably decrease their importance even more.
Isco was almost set to be a starter this next season. He showed some significant improvements playing as a central midfielder against Barcelona in the Copa del Rey Final, but he also changed the game and paved the way for Real Madrid's comeback in the Champions League Final against Atlético de Madrid. But now, considering Ancelotti's fondness for Xabi Alonso, the other two spots on his three-man midfield should belong to Modric and Kroos. Isco would still be Real Madrid's 12th man and a good asset to change the game, but this player will not have enough with that.
And that's why these first few matches without Kroos and James are so important for Isco. If he plays well and shows how ready he is, Ancelotti will likely trust him against Sevilla -UEFA Supercup on August 12th- and Atlético de Madrid -Spanish Supercup on August 18th and 22nd-. Isco has the talent to be a starter on this Real Madrid squad. If he uses these pre-season friendlies well, it will be very hard for Carlo Ancelotti to build a starting lineup without him.
Isco's season starts today.