James a surprise starter for Real Madrid vs Napoli

James Rodriguez was named in the Real Madrid starting XI for just the second time in 2017 ahead of Wednesday's Champions League last-16 first leg against Napoli.

JamesRodriguez - cropped

James Rodriguez trains with Real Madrid ahead of Napoli tie.

James Rodriguez was named in the Real Madrid starting XI for just the second time in 2017 ahead of Wednesday's Champions League last-16 first leg against Napoli.

The Colombia international had not started a game since the 3-0 Copa del Rey win over Sevilla on January 4, when Zinedine Zidane's side had a decidedly rotated feel.

James had not played at all since that game due to a calf injury until Saturday, when he played 33 minutes as a substitute in the 3-1 win at Osasuna.

He is likely to play alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema in a front three, with Isco dropped to the bench and Toni Kroos returning in midfield, replacing Nacho Fernandez.

Dani Carvajal also returns to Zidane's side for the first time since a 2-1 LaLiga defeat to Sevilla on January 15.

Arkadiusz Milik is once again on the bench for Napoli as he looks to make a return from a serious knee injury sustained last October.

The Serie A side have two former Madrid players in their XI in the shape of Raul Albiol and Jose Callejon.

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