Rafa Benitez Florentino Perez Real Madrid
Rafa Benitez will want to stamp his authority on this Real Madrid team from the first gameReuters

The Melbourne Cricket Ground – one of the most iconic stadiums in the world – is the venue for the first preseason game of Real Madrid, with Rafa Benitez's men playing Roma in the International Champions Cup.

Real Madrid embark on another new project, after Carlo Ancelotti was sacked at the end of last season, with Benitez named the new manager.

What the Spaniard has in mind for Real Madrid for the new season will come to light slowly with the preseason games, starting with this one against Roma at the MCG.

"The team is feeling very good," Benitez said. "They are a very professional group who do what you ask them, and with intensity.

"We have a great side, but we have to improve the squad with a lot of work, dedication and by giving the players what they need so that when they need to play, they play well. My work is similar to that which I would do with another side, but it has much more significance here. I have been at home and everything is positive.

"Against Roma we will be aiming to see some of the things we have been working on."

What will be interesting to see in this match is where Cristiano Ronaldo will play. Several reports out of Spain have claimed Benitez wants to play Ronaldo through the middle with Gareth Bale switching over to the left. While the first match of preseason usually gives away very little, it will be something to look at, nonetheless, assuming, of course, Ronaldo and Bale play.

Roma are a side capable of beating any team in the world on their day, and after tailing off in the Serie A in the second half of last season, the Italians will be keen to get their preparations right before attempting to usurp Juventus to the title.

"Playing Real Madrid will be good preparation ahead of the Champions League," Roma manager Rudi Garcia said. "On Saturday night both teams will be a little short of match fitness as it's still early in preseason but it should still be a good game.

"The group of players we have here are fine - on and off the pitch. The group is made of players who know each other very well. They know when it is time to work hard and when it is time to have fun. They've had to adapt to a time zone change but back in Rome it's very hot, so the conditions here are good for us.

"We had a similar experience last summer in terms of playing big teams when we faced Real Madrid and Manchester United in America. We've got some more games against quality opposition when we return to Europe too and those games will also help us."

Where to Watch Live

Real Madrid vs Roma is scheduled to begin at 7 pm local time (2.30 pm IST, 10 am BST, 11 am CET, 5 am ET). The preseason game will be shown live in India on Star Sports 2, while the online live streaming options are on Hotstar and Starsports online.

Viewers in Spain can catch Real Madrid in action on Canal+, while audience in Australia can watch the game live on GEM.

Audience in the UK can watch the International Champions Cup match live on Sky Sports4, with the live stream option on Sky Go.

Real Madrid vs Roma will be shown live in the US on ESPN Deportes and Fox Sports, while the match can also be live streamed on Watch ESPN and FoxSoccer2Go.

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