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James starts for Real Madrid as Zidane makes five changes

James Rodríguez is back in the line-up as LaLiga leaders Real Madrid take on Sporting Gijon at the Santiago Bernabéu (16:15 CET).

James Rodríguez.

James Rodríguez has been brought in for his first Real Madrid start in a month as Los Blancos face Sporting Gijon at home this afternoon in LaLiga (16:15 CET).

James, Benzema back in Real starting line-up

Rodríguez, who was last in the Real line-up for the Copa del Rey clash with Cultural Leonesa in late October, comes into the side with midfielder Isco rested.

Wholesale reshuffle in defence

Zinedine Zidane has made five changes, which include the return of striker Karim Benzema to the XI, fresh from scoring the winner at Sporting CP in the Champions League.

Nacho plays at left-back with Marcelo not 100% fit, Danilo replaces Dani Carvajal on the other flank and Pepe is in for the injured Raphael Varane.

Ramos starts despite yellow card threat

Despite being a booking away from missing El Clásico at Barcelona through suspension, captain Sergio Ramos partners Pepe at the centre of Real's defence.

Bale crocked

With Gareth Bale facing around three months out through injury, Lucas Vázquez retains his place in the team and fills in for the Welshman in attack.

Real Madrid XI: Keylor Navas, Danilo, Pepe, Ramos, Nacho, Modric, Kovacic, James, Vázquez, Benzema, Cristiano.

Three at the heart of Sporting's backline

Visitors Sporting, meanwhile, will take to the Bernabéu pitch with a three-man central defence of Jorge Meré, Fernando Amorebieta and Lillo.

Sporting XI: Mariño, Douglas, Meré, Amorebieta, Lillo, Isma López, Carmona, Sergio Álvarez, Rachid, Moi Gómez, Cop.


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