Real Madrid team news: Bale in, Benzema out for Betis test

Gareth Bale returns to the Real Madrid starting line-up at Karim Benzema’s expense as the Merengue take on Betis in Sunday’s La Liga clash.

The Wales winger was a second-half replacement for Benzema in Madrid’s 3-1 Champions League defeat of Paris Saint-Germain midweek. 

And he has earned a place in Zinedine Zidane’s first XI for the club’s latest domestic clash, as they look to close a 20-point deficit to Liga leaders Barcelona. 

Bale’s entrance is one of five changes made by the coach after triumphing at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday. 

Dani Carvajal, Mateo Kovacic, Lucas Vazquez and Marco Asensio are also recalled, the latter having shined off the bench with a hand in both of Madrid’s late goals to down PSG.

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Luka Modric and Isco join Benzema on the bench, as does Raphael Varane, who loses his spot to Nacho in the middle of defence. 

Toni Kroos, meanwhile, misses out on the encounter after suffering a sprained knee, with the Champions League return in Paris the goal for the Germany international as he seeks to regain fitness.

Betis: Adan; Barragan, Mandi, Amat, Bartra; Junior, Fabian; Guardado, Boudebouz, Joaquin; Loren.

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Substitutes: Pedro, Durmisi, Garcia, Camarasa, Francis, Tello, Sergio Leon.

Real Madrid: Navas; Carvajal, Ramos, Nacho, Marcelo; Kovacic, Casemiro, Vazquez; Bale, Ronaldo, Asensio.

Substitutes: Casilla, Varane, Theo, Modric, Isco, Benzema, Ceballos.