REAL MADRID-CELTA

Modric returns with Asensio set for Bernabeu league debut

French coach Zidane has confirmed a 19 man squad ahead of Real Madrid's home debut in the 2016/17 campaign against Celta at the Bernabeu.

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Modric returns with Asensio set for Bernabeu league debut
JESUS ALVAREZ ORIHUELA DIARIO AS

Luka Modric returns from suspension for Real Madrid tonight and is set to link up with Toni Kroos and Casemiro in midfield. His inclusion will see his compatriot Kovacic exiled to the substitute's bench. Zidane is expected to keep Morata,  Asensio and Gareth Bale in attack after a successful opening game and 0-3 win in Anoeta and Portuguese defender Pepe also makes a welcome return to the squad having fully recovered from injury.

Isco will miss the home debut with a twisted ankle as Nacho is left out of the French coach's list. Colombian midfielder James will, once again start on the bench and Zidane has hinted that this situation may be a problem with the club trying to secure a deal for the player before the August 31 deadline despite the resistance of the midfielder to leave the Bernabeu. Cristiano is still 2/3 weeks away from full fitness and the stage is set for a home debut for Marco Asensio. The Mallorquín is not seen as a replacement for Ronaldo but as a symbol of the club's regeneration.

James Rodriguez of Real Madrid

All is not well in Vigo with the club still suffering the fall-out from Nolito's departure. Three defeats in pre-season, problems with Cabral, an opening home defeat to new boys Leganes and memories of last season's 7-1 reverse in the Bernabeu do not auger well for Berizzo's men who do have good news in the shape of Iago Aspas returning to the squad.