The first LaLiga match for Santiago Solari as manager of Real Madrid takes place at the Bernabéu on Saturday against Valladolid. These two clubs have not faced each other since July 2014, a match where the two sides drew 1-1.
Valladolid were promoted back to the Primera División for this season and have rather exceeded expectations so far by currently being in 6th. Real Madrid are currently 9th in the table, clearly not meeting expectations as of yet.
Real are coming off the loss in El Clásico in terms of LaLiga, but did defeat Melilla 4-0 in Solari’s first match as manager in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday. Valladolid are coming off a 1-1 draw with Espanyol last weekend. It’ll be interesting to see how Solari fairs with this side in his first league fixture with Real.
There is a bit of a connection between Real and Valladolid with Real legend Ronaldo Nazario being the majority owner of Valladolid. A win would put Real at 17 points on the season, 4 behind Barcelona, also depending on what they do against Vallecano.
Real Madrid will be without Carvajal, Varane, Vallejo, Marcelo, and Mariano. The injury list has become quite long over this past week.
Valladolid are without forwards Keko and Duje Cop due to injury.
There are no suspensions on either side for Saturday’s match.
Courtois; Odriozola, Nacho, Ramos, Reguilón; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Bale, Asensio, Benzema
Many of the starters rested against Melilla on Wednesday, most of them will likely be back in the starting XI.
Nacho will likely be Varane’s substitute in most league matches until he comes back as well as Reguilón for Marcelo.
The midfield three of Casemiro, Kroos, and Modric did not start against Melilla, they should be back in action as starters on Saturday.
Bale was also rested against Melilla but will likely be back in the starting squad. Solari will have a choice between Isco and Asensio on the left side, Asensio started in right midfield on Wednesday. Vinicius is included in the announced squad, perhaps he sees minutes as a substitute.
Masip; Moyano, Kiko, Calero, Nacho; Antoñito, Michel, Alcaraz, Toni Villa; Suarez, Ünal
Real Madrid-Valladolid 3-1
Valladolid have only scored one goal in their last four league matches. With Real at home, they need to keep them at one, or even zero preferably. With so many injuries to the defense, the task to keep the scoring low becomes more difficult, but is required.
Real need to win this match, to give some confidence in Solari and a much needed win to keep up in this tight race for the league. With Barcelona trying to break away from the pack as leaders, 3 points is starting to become an absolute must for Real.
Being back at the Bernabéu can help, they must win this match with Barcelona facing Vallecano on Saturday as well. This needs to be the turning point of the season after a devastating loss in El Clásico and the sacking of Lopetegui.
The age (or two weeks) of Solari are here and a strong performance from the club should hopefully follow against Valladolid.