Benítez's time for experiments is running out. His team should be ready to start the 2015/2016 season when they face Turkish champions Galatasaray tonight at the Santiago Bernabéu, given that the season kicks off next Sunday against Sporting Gijón. That will likely be a demanding game and the Spanish manager still needs to decide who is going to replace Karim Benzema upfront, so today will be Jesé's last chance to make his case and prove he is ready to sit one out of James and Isco on the bench.
This should also be a good opportunity to see who is in better form between Casilla and Keylor Navas. The Costa Rican has completed an encouraging pre-season but Casilla has been polished and safe when given the chance as well. It definitely seems that Navas will be the starter as Madrid try to complete their deal for David De Gea.
And finally, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo will try to build some momentum. The Portuguese has not competed in Real's last three pre-season games and Bale hasn't been in great scoring form, so expect both players to go out and try to score some goals tonight.
3 things to watch for:
- Benítez's decisions: The Spanish manager will likely give some rest to those players who will be on the lineup against Gijón as they will need to be fresh. It will be interesting to see how much Jesé, Isco and James play tonight given that they are fighting for two spots.
- Marco Asensio: The young playmaker is expected to be on his way out of the club to find relevant minutes on a loan deal but if his performance is good enough Benítez could change his mind and keep him in the squad. He has provided a spark off the bench that neither Vázquez nor Cheryshev have been able to match.
- Danilo and Carvajal: These two right-backs will be competing for the starting spot all season long and while Carvajal appears to have the edge over the Brazilian right now, Benítez might think different because of Danilo's physicality and aerial game.