Is Benítez going to rotate his squad ahead of Tuesday's Champions League game? Real Madrid will host Granada next weekend and that would seem a much-better match to give his reserves some minutes given that it should not be easy to beat Espanyol away.
Still, it would make sense to bench some of his stars after a FIFA break. Espanyol have been preparing this match for two weeks and some of Real's international players will surely be tired and might not have the strength needed to fight against Espanyol for a full match.
Real Madrid projected XI: Navas, Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo, Casemiro, Modric, Isco, Bale, Ronaldo, Benzema.
Espanyol projected XI: Pau, Arbilla, González, Ciani, Duarte, López, Cañas, Sánchez, Álvarez, Moreno, Caicedo.
Real's defenders will need to be careful with Caicedo's physicality and that has never been Varane's main skill, so Benítez could decide to give Pepe the nod instead as Caicedo is Espanyol's main threat.