Real Madrid return home to the Bernabéu to take on Valencia. It will be the first time these two clubs have faced each other this season, and both are in very different positions standings-wise this so far.
Real are currently 6th in LaLiga, tied with Girona at 20 points. They are also 6 points out of league-leaders Sevilla. Valencia, who finished 4th last season, are currently 11th in the table. They are tied at 17 points with Valladolid and Getafe.
Real’s previous match in LaLiga was against Eibar last Saturday, a match Real Madrid would lose 3-0 at the Ipurua. Fortunately, their travels to the Italian capital were more fortuitous and they were able to pick up the 2-0 victory over Roma on Tuesday. Valencia have won their last two matches in the league, but they did lose 1-0 to Juventus.
Given how close the standings still are going into December now, every point does indeed count crucially. Real have been fairly poor on the road, specifically in LaLiga, but they have done rather well in Madrid. Valencia is still a tough team, despite their current record, and there’s only a 3-point difference between the two sides going into this one.
Real Madrid had Odriozola and Reguilón return to training ahead of Saturday’s match after brief injuries to the pair. Nacho is still out with a ligament injury that may keep him out until January. Casemiro is likely to miss this match as well.
Valencia have a long-term injury themselves they are still dealing with, former Real winger Denis Cheryshev remains out after suffering injury at the end of October. Rodrigo is also set to miss this match after picking up an injury of his own against Juventus on Tuesday.
There are no suspensions for either side in Saturday’s clash.
Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Modric, Llorente, Kroos; Vazquez, Bale, Benzema
With Casemiro still out, Llorente was impressive enough against Roma that should warrant another start for him.
Bale scored while starting on the left side while Vazquez also got his first goal of the season when starting, that may be enough to start them in the same attacking positions against Valencia. Vazquez might get the edge over Asensio again simply because he was able to score, though disposession is still a big problem with him.
Who knows what’s really happening with Isco. Real have yet to release the roster for the match as of yet, so there’s no real way of knowing if he’ll be even included until it is released. Even if he is included, he’ll likely start on the bench with the possibility of subbing on.
Neto; Wass, Gabriel, Diakhaby, Gayá; Coquelin, Parejo, Kondogbia, Guedes; Gameiro, Mina
Real Madrid-Valencia 3-1
Valencia have not managed a win at the Bernabéu since the 2008 season, hopefully history stands true for this match as well. On the contrary, Valencia have managed at least one goal in these past several matches in Madrid between the two sides.
Real Madrid are likely the favorites for this match, especially since they are in front of their home crowd, but Valencia is always a fairly tough opponent. The club needs to play more like they did against Roma and less like they did against Eibar. Getting Bale to score and set up others for goals is essential at this point.
Real have to put their best effort forward this match, they can’t afford to drop points with how tight the title race is right now. They certainly can’t lose to a team that will tie them with a win. Should be one of the more interesting matches in a while given the statuses between these clubs historically.