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Valencia vs Real Madrid, La Liga 2016-17: Match Preview

Real travel to the eastern coast of Spain

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Real Madrid CF v RCD Espanyol - La Liga Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Valencia literally could not have started the season any poorer if they tried, taking zero points from their first four matches. Winter came, they sacked Cesare Prandelli, and appointed Salvador González, who has managed to get Valencia out of the drop zone and up to 15th.

Regardless, the once-proud club who just a few years ago used to regularly sit third below Madrid and Barça now looks like a shell of itself.

This is the first meeting between Madrid and Valencia this season, due to Madrid’s December task of the Club World Cup. Los Blancos would have surely preferred to play Valencia back in the thick of winter when they were in an all-out free-fall, but so it goes.

After resting Benzema, Modrić, Navas, and others against Espanyol at the weekend, Zidane looks keen on sending out a strong lineup against Valencia. The beautiful bald man seems to be in full let’s-just-take-care-of-business-mode right now, with Villarreal waiting at the weekend.

“It’s a tough stadium to play at, but at the end of the day, it’s just another three points, nothing more,” Zidane said per ESPNFC.

Valencia, despite their struggles, have a few threatening players, most of whom they just brought in. Nani (yep that Nani) has been putting in a solid season on the wings, as he has his entire career. On the other wing will be Fabián Orellana, who they just brought over on loan from Celta Vigo. Basically, Madrid need to be careful on the wings and not get burnt. Also Valencia just brought in Simone Zaza, who scored his first goal for them over the weekend. I’m mostly mentioning him as an excuse to link to this.

For Madrid, all eyes will be on Gareth Bale, who after doing Gareth Bale things in limited minutes against Espanyol, may make his first start since November.

The Mestalla is never a fun place to play, and Madrid have dropped points there the last two seasons. If Madrid can take three points tomorrow, they’ll be four points clear at the top of La Liga with one more game in hand.

Kickoff: Wednesday, 22nd February 2017 at 12:45PM EST at the Mestalla Stadium

Projected lineups

Real Madrid: Navas; Marcelo, Varane, Ramos, Carvajal; Casemiro, Kroos, Modrić; Bale, Benzema, Ronaldo

Valencia: Diego Alves; Siqueira, Mangala, Garay, Montoya; Perez, Parejo; Nani, Haddadi, Rodrigo, Mina

How to watch

Available TV: BeIN Sports (USA), BeIN Sports (Spain).

Available streaming: BeIN Sports Connect (USA), Fubo.TV (EVERY Real Madridgame with a high-quality and legal stream, click here to sign up and benefit from a huge offer for new members and Managing Madrid readers).

For listings in other countries, check out

Staff Predictions

Result (1) Score (2) Goal Scorers (3) Total Score
Result (1) Score (2) Goal Scorers (3) Total Score
Om RM Win 2-1 CR7, Ramos; Higuaín 42
Kiyan RM Win 3-1 Benz, CR7, Asensio; Pjanic 45
Timm RM Win 2-1 (RM win extra time) CR7, Ramos; Dybala 41
Mike - - - 34
Lucas RM Loss 1-2 CR7; Higuaín, Dybala 26
Nate RM Win 4-2 -CR7x2, Bale, Morata; Higuain, Dybala 47
Marc - - - 3
Lewis - - - 10
Tommy RM Loss 1-2 Benz; Higuaín, Mandzukic 19
Naguib RM Win 2-0 CR7, Bale 29
Vicki - - - 1
Ondra RM Win 2-0 CR7, Ramos 18
Jack RM Win 2-2 (RM win on pk's 4-3) CR7, Ramos; Dybala x2 6
Matt RM Win 1-0 CR7 8
Sam RM Win 2-1 - 1
José RM Win 3-1 CR7 x2, Morata; Mandzukic 3

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