Opinion: Last test for Lopetegui's style against Milan
Pablo Polo analyses the upcoming clash against Milan and predicts what tactical decisions Lopetegui might opt to try in the final game of the pre-season.
New era kicks off
"The new Julen Lopetegui era gets underway at the Santiago Bernabeu following the success under Zinedine Zidane and the coach has the always tough task of satisfying the most demanding fans in world football.
Establishing Lopetegui's style
"The former Spain coach will look to stamp his own mark on the side and so far what has happened during the tour of the United States suggests that the fans are happy with his approach so far.
"Against Milan in the Trofeo Bernabeu, Lopetegui will look to show the fans that they can be entertained as demonstrated in the first half against Roma and the second period against Manchester United. Madrid will look to have the ball, move it around quickly and recover it at speed when it is lost. They will aim to do this without their talisman of recent year, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Group work in focus
"The team needs to prove itself without the Portuguese and Lopetegui has tried alternatives including a 4-3-3 but the main aim is to be more of a group than individuals.
"Lopetegui will play Asensio as a false nine alongside Benzema and Bale with all three having scored in the preseason. The coach though also will be looking for a role from his second string like Ceballos, Marcos Llorente, Odriozola and Vinicius.
"In particular, Vinicius will be looking to force his way into Lopetegui's plans and so far he has shown plenty of potential."
Have you enjoyed Lopetegui's style so far?