Real Madrid welcome Deportivo la Coruña to the Santiago Bernabeu without a representative from BBC - no Gareth Bale, no Karim Benzema and no Cristiano Ronaldo. Just once in the last five years have Real Madrid gone into battle in La Liga without a single player from their first choice attacking trident since Gareth Bale joined in the summer of 2013.
The Welsh attacker will be back in a couple of weeks after undergoing surgery for an injury to his right ankle. Benzema quit training on Friday with a niggling injury and Zidane has decided to rest Ronaldo given the accumulation of games and the upcoming games in the Club World Cup.
One precedent in La Liga
On the 11th of May 2014, Real Madrid lined out without the BBC against Celta Vigo at Balaidos. It was gameweek 37 and Real were on their last legs as they tried to keep up the fight for La Liga despite sitting third behind both Atletico Madrid and Barcelona.
Morata led the line that day and Bale was on the bench but he did not play any minutes. Luka Modric and Isco flanked the number nine and Casemiro, Xabi Alonso and Sami Khedira made up a three man midfield.
The experiment did not work, however, as Luis Enrique's side beat them 2-0 with Charles grabbing a goal in either hald to end Real Madrid's title challenge. The absence of their three star attackers actually helped in hindsight though because just a few days later, they would go on to win their 10th Champions League title in Lisbon, beating Atletico Madrid at the death.
In total, the BBC have missed just eight games out of the possible 194 games together. There was the Celta Vigo games, six games in the Copa del Rey and once against Sevilla in the European Supercup.
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