Real Madrid players, coaching staff and fans alike should brace themselves for the tough week ahead. Los Blancos will visit Valencia's Mestalla and Villarreal's Estadio de la Ceramica in a four-day span which could very well define their season.
Madrid are currently leading La Liga table one point ahead of Barcelona. They also have two matches at hand yet to be played but that situation will change this Wednesday as Zidane's men will finally visit Valencia after their January match got postponed because of the FIFA Club World Cup. It's true that Madrid's advantage in La Liga is a very solid one, but they will need to deliver on their next two games if they don't want to see their lead vanish.
Match One: Valencia vs Real Madrid (Wednesday, 18:45 CET)
Valencia are a much different team now than the one in serious danger of getting relegated. They signed Fabian Orellana and Simone Zaza and have recovered a bit of their confidence under coach Voro, who is replacing Cesare Prandelli. Furthermore, Mestalla has never been an easy venue for Real Madrid, who have dropped points on their last two visits.
Match Two: Villarreal vs Real Madrid (Sunday, 20:45 CET)
Things get even tougher when Madrid visit El Estadio de la Ceramica on Sunday. Villarreal have been performing quite well this season and are currently ranked sixth in the table. They also managed to hold Barcelona to a 1-1 draw when Messi and Co. played there some months ago. Real Madrid will need to be firing on all cylinders if they want to earn all three points.