Preview and Prediction
Real Madrid is still unable to topple their local contender Atletico Madrid from the top but they managed to get closer to the top with 46 points or still eight points behind Los Rojiblancos. This weekend, they are hoping to keep their position when playing host to Valencia, which are still stuck on the 12th of the table.
Both teams’ previous games
Los Merengues secured a maximum point in the midweek after thumping Getafe 2-0. Karim Benzema once again scored an opener and Ferland Mendy’s close ranger strike doubled their lead. It was enough to take over the runner up post from their archrival Barcelona.
Los Ches was able to pick up one point in San Mames last weekend. Despite being one goal behind after Hugo Guillamon’s own goal, they found the equaliser by Gabriel Paulista’s header.
Zinedine Zidane’s experiment in deploying 3-4-3 formation proved to be successful. Unfortunately, the names in the injury table have just added up after Marcelo and Alvaro Odriozola are sidelined due to their injuries. They are ruled out alongside Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal, Federico Valverde, Eder Militao, Eden Hazard, Rodrygo and Lucas Vasquez. Thus, the French boss will have to rely on Nacho, Raphael Varane and Casemiro dropping off as the centre back. In the midfield, Toni Kross and Luka Modric are operating in the middle while Ferland Mendy and the youngster Marvin Park will play out wide. At the front, Marco Asencio and Vinicius Junior are the safe option to accompany Karim Benzema.
Meanwhile, Javier Garcia is still in favour of 4-4-2 formation. Luckily, his squad is relatively fit for this important fixture by only leaving the injured Jasper Cillessen and Moukhtar Diakhaby on the sideline. At the front, Maxi Gomez should be featuring as the dynamic duo alongside Denis Cheryshev while Manu Vallejo and Patrick Cutrone could be brought on at the second half. In the midfield, Daniel Wass and Lee Kang-In are on both flanks to accompany Carlos Soler and Uros Racic in the middle.
Players to watch
The current crisis in the squad would push Zidane to count on Benzema again to be the main scorer. The 33-year old striker has netted 11 goals and provided five assists. Some other figures who should be taking up a bigger role in this critical time are Marco Asencio and Vinicius Junior. Both have registered two goals and assists each.
Los Ches’s anchorman Carlos Soler is certainly one of their key men this season. He has bagged six goals and five assists, including a hattrick by penalties against Madrid in the reverse fixture. Another notable name to watch is el capitano Jose Gaya.
Real Madrid vs Valencia Prediction
Zinedine Zidane’s men are still on a mission to avenge their humiliating 1-4 loss in the reverse fixture but the crisis in their squad makes it even harder. Jose Gaya and Co have got nothing to lose here, which could give them a boost to defeat Los Blancos again. Despite the difficulty, Real Madrid still have the chance to secure a narrow win at home.
The reigning champion is still the slight favourite here. Real Madrid is priced to win at 5/11, whereas Valencia are projected to win at 15/2. The odds for the draw result are at 39/10.