Bale and Modric drop to Real Madrid bench against Girona

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The pair started last week's win over Eibar but take their place as substitutes as Zinedine Zidane makes several changes to his side

Gareth Bale and Luka Modric have been dropped to the bench for Real Madrid's La Liga game against Girona, while Karim Benzema returns to the starting XI.

Bale has featured for Madrid in every league game since recovering from injury to feature in the Clasico defeat to Barcelona in December and started each of their last four matches.

However, just as in both ties against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League, the Welshman has been left out of the first-team as Zinedine Zidane's side host seventh placed Girona. 

Instead, Benzema will partner Cristiano Ronaldo up front for the Champions League holders, while Lucas Vazquez and Marco Asensio will line up on the wings.

Modric, Casemiro and Isco are also named as substitutes despite starting last week against Eibar, with Mateo Kovacic taking a place in midfield alongside Toni Kroos.

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As captain Sergio Ramos is missing from the squad, Nacho Fernandez is drafted in to take his place beside Raphael Varane in defence. 

Real Madrid starting XI: Navas, Carvajal, Varane, Nacho, Marcelo, Kroos, Kovacic, Vazquez, Asensio, Ronaldo, Benzema.

Bench: Casilla, Vallejo, Modric, Bale, Casemiro, Theo, Isco

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