Real Madrid face their first tough opponent of this Hell Week at the Mestalla on Sunday. They go against Valencia for the first time this season.
Los Blancos caught a bit of a break before this match with Barcelona dropping points in a draw with Sociedad. This makes the stakes a bit higher as Real Madrid are now only a point behind Barcelona.
Valencia are currently eighth in the league table, but only three points behind Atlético for fourth. So it is a tight race even outside the first and second spots of LaLiga.
This will likely be Real’s toughest matchup so far this season. The Mestalla is always a tough fixture and Valencia are undefeated there this season. Real have to be ready for a battle if they want to capture all three points.
Real Madrid are still dealing with injuries to the squad. Hazard, Marcelo, Mendy, Lucas Vazquez, James, and Asensio have all been excluded from Sunday’s squad list.
Valencia are dealing with several key injuries themselves. Excluded from their squad list are: Gameiro, Piccini, Goncalo Guedes, Maxi Gomez, Cheryshev and Cillessen.
There are no suspensions for either side in this match. Casemiro is facing suspension if he picks up another yellow at the Mestalla.
Domènech; Wass, Gabriel, Diakhaby, Gayá; Ferrán, Coquelin, Parejo, Soler; Sobrino, Rodrigo
Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Nacho; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Rodrygo, Bale, Benzema
With both Mendy and Marcelo out, Nacho will have to fill in at one of the fullback positions. That means both he and Carvajal will likely start, it’s unlikely Odriozola is given a start.
Valverde is also an option to start, but Modric may get it instead. Even with Casemiro possibly facing suspension for El Clasico, Zidane is going to make sure he faces at least Valencia.
Bale and Rodrygo may get the start alongside Benzema up top. Vinicius is also an option, but Zidane may opt for the more experienced Bale in a big match like this.
Valencia—Real Madrid 2-3
Real Madrid will have to put it all on the line Sunday if they want to beat Valencia away and move on to Camp Nou with three more points. This means handing Valencia their first loss of the season at the Mestalla.
With Barcelona dropping points, this is a perfect chance for Real to go ahead on points if they get the result they want and truly need. A draw means their back to being level on points ahead of El Clasico, which means the stakes have never been higher for that matchup.
Valencia are dealing with a hefty amount of injuries to their starting squad, which might make it a bit easier to get a winning result. Regardless, Real still have to put forth their best and play a near perfect 90 minutes.
This will be a great match. Certainly one of the most interesting and crucial of the season so far. Real must prove they can get results in big matches like this if they want to continue contending for the LaLiga throne.