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Real Madrid vs AC Milan, International Champions Cup: 3 things to watch for

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Zhong Zhi/Getty Images

After beating Inter Milan last Monday, Real Madrid will play its last game in China against the rossoneri from AC Milan to try and conquer the Chinese edition of the International Champions Cup. The full roster is available for this game and, since James Rodríguez has had enough training since his arrival, it is the first chance for Rafa Benítez to configure a lineup without any restriction.

Three things to watch for:

  1. Will we see a different system? In the previous three games, Real Madrid base system was a 4-2-3-1, that evolved into a 4-4-1-1 or a 4-4-2 in certain moments of the game. However, the rumors about Rafa Benítez not being totally fond of Karim Benzema and the recent incorporation of James Rodríguez suggest that we could see a pure 4-4-2 tomorrow, with Ronaldo and Bale upfront, and Isco and James on the wings. We will see.
  2. Does Real Madrid need a new left-back? Marcelo has been a starter in the previous three games of the pre-season, and is the only player in the roster that does not have a clear backup (Coentrao stayed in Madrid with another injury to add to his long list and is claimed to be leaving Real Madrid soon, while Arbeloa and Nacho are not serious options). Perhaps it is time to see whether Denis Cheryshev can perform as a left-back before deciding if a new one is needed.
  3. Is Jesé ready to be important for Real Madrid? Big Flow left an extraordinary performance and a magnificent goal against Inter Milan on Monday, which proves he has enough talent to be a fantastic bench player for Real Madrid, but Los Blancos need him to be consistent as well. For a player of his type, it is hard to deliver when you don't have many minutes, but Rafa Benítez's rotation policy should suffice for Jesé to show what he is able to do and to be a determining factor for Real Madrid this season.