Carlo Ancelotti has refuted suggestions that he could use Real Madrid's upcoming league games to prepare for their crucial Champions League second leg clash with Paris Saint-Germain, for which Casemiro and Ferland Mendy will be suspended.
Casemiro and Mendy picked up decisive yellow cards in the LaLiga leaders' 1-0 first-leg defeat to PSG, ruling them out of the crucial second leg in Spain next month.
Brazil midfielder Casemiro has appeared in all seven of Real's Champions League games this season, while left-back Mendy has made five appearances, both establishing themselves as key parts of Ancelotti's attempts to bring the Spanish and European crowns back to the Bernabeu.
Speaking ahead of a trip to Rayo Vallecano, Ancelotti insisted that he will not use upcoming games to find the right balance for Real's reunion with PSG, highlighting the importance of their league fixtures.
"What can I tell you? It would be a good idea [to experiment] if we had friendly games," he said.
"But we have two really important games, finals, against Rayo Vallecano and Real Sociedad.
"Two victories would mean a lot in order to win LaLiga, [so] I will play my best starting 11 in the games before Paris Saint-Germain.
"Toni Kroos can replace Casemiro, but he doesn't need to get used to playing that [deeper] position, he has played it many times.
"I have experienced players, I don’t need to try new things. I Haven't thought yet about who will replace Casemiro and Mendy, as we have two really important matches before that."
Although Real must overcome a first-leg deficit to progress in Europe, they retain a six-point lead at the LaLiga summit, despite a patchy run of form which has seen them win just two of their past six games in all competitions.
The Italian, however, said his team were "feeling better" ahead of their trip to Rayo, having thrashed lowly Alaves 3-0 last time out.
"We needed to evaluate what was happening," he said. "We were not performing at our top level after the Spanish Super Cup [which his team won in January], for so many reasons.
"But I think that right now we are feeling better, and against Alaves, we played brilliant football in the second half.
"This will be a tough match, Vallecano are performing really well, especially at home.
"But we have been working really hard, and the team is ready, so I think we can play a good game."
Ancelotti's team are looking to defend a fearsome record against Saturday's opponents, losing just one of their last 21 games against Rayo Vallecano in LaLiga (19 wins and one draw), although that one reverse came on their most recent visit to the Nuevo Estadio de Vallecas, a 1-0 loss last April.