Ronaldo fit for Real Madrid opener

25 August 2014 05:46:30 EST

Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to start when Real Madrid open their La Liga title challenge against promoted Cordoba at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on Monday.

The 29-year-old ended last season with a knee injury and looked below-par at the World Cup in Brazil this summer for Portugal.

He came off the bench in Friday's Spanish Super Cup defeat by champions Atletico Madrid and is now over his pre-season injury problems, according to Los Blancos coach Carlo Ancelotti.

"He trained well and he's available," he said.

"His pre-season was not very regular because he needed individual work to resolve his niggles."

Ancelotti has added Colombia playmaker James Rodriguez, Bayern Munich midfielder Toni Kroos and Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas to his Champions League-winning side from last season and has admitted competition for places is intense.

The experienced Italian said he was expecting a sustained challenge for silverware from his expensively-assembled squad.

"Each player has different attributes," added Ancelotti. "The three new signings will add the enthusiasm brought by a new player arriving and also a lot of quality.

"We'll try to improve this year. Last season we came very close to winning the Liga and we ran out of steam at the end.

"The solution we are looking for is to be both fast and solid. This team won't have a problem scoring goals. We won't have problems in that area."

Real Madrid are priced 1/1 in the match betting and the draw is quoted 1/1. The away win is available to back in the 90 minutes market at 1/1.

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