Valencia Vs. Real Madrid, La Liga 2013: Match Preview And Live Thread

Denis Doyle

Real Madrid might play this match as a training session prior to the second leg of the Copa del Rey tie against Valencia, to be played Wednesday at this very same stadium. What is sure is that Valencia won't do the same. They feel like they were robbed at the Santiago Bernabéu this past Tuesday, and they will try to create a good atmosphere for Wednesday's clash, but also thinking about La Liga.

The media's attention has been focused on a reported discussion between Cristiano Ronaldo and Mourinho after Tuesday's game. That's why some journalists are reporting that Real Madrid's coach will keep his best player on the bench. That way, he would rest for the team's most important match, but it could be dangerous to encourage Valencia and make them believe it is possible to overcome a 2-0 deficit.

Former Real Madrid playmaker Sergio Canales made his return to Valencia after spending nine months out with a knee injury. Canales is certainly a good prospect, but two knee injuries in less than two years is something not many player can recover from. Real Madrid decided to sell Canales and Gago for 11M€ this past summer, in what was arguably a very good move by the team's board, for once.

Mourinho and his men should try to play a serious game to cold Mestalla's support down and show them that it is very hard to score goals against this team, but given how bad Real Madrid's defensive line has performed on the road this season, that's something that might be hard to accomplish. Added to that, Adán might get the start (in a decission that would mean Mourinho still trusts him), and Carvalho, Varane and Albiol are the only defenders available for Mourinho.

On the midfield, Alonso and Khedira's partnership should prevail. The German panzer has been playing brilliantly over the past month (he has the same goals as Alexis Sánchez and the same assist number than Xavi Hernández, just to let you know), but Alonso still needs to get into rhythm.

Di María, Modric and Callejón will fight for one spot, while Higuaín could get the start over Benzema this time. One way or another, this game is a really good chance for Real Madrid to get used to Mestalla's pressure and Valencia's tactics at home. Even though Barcelona lost against Real Sociedad, a comeback isn't very likely, so the team better be ready for Wednesday's game, because Valverde, Soldado and company are going to give it all to win the tie.

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