Real Madrid host Valencia on Saturday night, hoping to return to winning ways in La Liga.
Carlo Ancelotti’s men suffered a shock defeat when they came back from the winter break and lost 1-0 in Getafe to get off to a bad start in 2022.
However, Los Blancos still have a five-point cushion (after playing one more match) at the summit and have already bounced well from that skew, beating Alcoyano 3-1 to secure the development in the Copa del Rey last out.
Marco Asensio scored the decisive goal against Alcoyano / Quality Sport Images / GettyImages
By beating Cartegena 2-1 in the middle of the week, Valencia also advanced to the next round of the cup and had started to take shape before the winter break.
However, a win of three matches ended with a 2-1 loss to Espanyol on New Year’s Eve which signaled that there was still a lot of work for Jose Bordalas to do for the bats to achieve the consequence needed to push for a European place.
Here is a 90 minute preview of this La Liga match.
When is kick off? Saturday, January 8, 20:00 (GMT)Where is it played? Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid Which TV channel is it on? LaLigaTV (UK), ESPN + (USA)Highlights? La Liga Santander YouTube channel Who is the judge? Alejandro Jose Hernandez Hernandez
Ancelotti will have to do without Dani Carvajal, Mariano Diaz and Gareth Bale who all miss out due to injuries and fitness problems, while Luka Jovic will be absent after returning a positive Covid-19 result.
Vinicius Junior Should Return After Attack Of Covid-19 / Juan Manuel Serrano Arce / GettyImages
It is expected to be a huge transformation from the rotated side that beat Alcoyano in the middle of the week, which means returning to the lineup for such as Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric, while Vinicius Junior should also be involved after an absence through Covid- 19.
Read the 90mins expected lineup here
That will also change in the supermarket for Valencia, who rotated heavily for their own Copa del Rey match in the middle of the week.
With that said, Hugo Duro will be unavailable for selection due to suspension, while Gabriel Paulista, Dimitri Foulquier and Toni Lato will all miss due to injury.
These two heavyweights in Spanish football have met each other 195 times in competition, where Real Madrid has won an impressive 102 times compared to Valencia’s 53 victories.
The Bat’s only victory in the previous six meetings came during the 2019/20 season when they beat Los Blancos 4-1.
Saturday night’s hosts, however, have generally dominated this match and currently have a two-match winning streak – most recently defeating Valencia 2-1 away earlier in the campaign.
While Ancelotti’s men suffered a blow in the last La Liga outing, they have already shown this semester how strong they are in calm and character to bounce back. Most recently, they lost a 15-match undefeated run and won 13 in the process.
Valencia Chef Jose Bordalas / Quality Sport Images / GettyImages
So Valencia, who themselves showed good form before losing on the resumption of the season, should be wary of a reaction from Real.
While Bordala’s side boasts good quality and can certainly push for European qualifiers, Ancelotti’s men should simply have too much for them to handle during the day.
Prediction: Real Madrid 3-1 Valencia
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