Real are back on the road Sunday for this first time since Levante, coincidentally their last win across any competition. It’s been an absolute nightmare since that win over Levante, with Real dropping further in the LaLiga standings and being knocked out of both the Copa del Rey and Champions League.
On top of these three losses, at the hands of Barcelona and Ajax, they’ve also added some big names to the injury list: namely Vazquez, Vinicius, and Carvajal. And on top of this further, Santi Solari is on a red hot seat and there is already plenty of replacement talk going around.
Valladolid are 16th in LaLiga, so Real are the favorites for this match despite the recent losing. Real won 2-0 at the Bernabéu the last time these two clubs met back in November.
Since LaLiga is certainly out of reach with Real currently 15 points behind Barcelona, their sole focus now is retaining a top four spot. They are 7 points up on fifth place Alaves, so it would really take an epic collapse at this point. More than the points, Real just need to get a win again.
Real Madrid, as aforementioned, are going to be without Vinicius, Lucas Vazquez, and Dani Carvajal. Llorente did not train earlier on Saturday, MARCA reported that he is likely out for Sunday. Bale and Mariano both missed Saturday’s session so they are likely going to miss as well.
Valladolid are without Toni Villa and Luismi.
There are no suspensions for either side in Sunday’s match.
Courtois; Odriozola, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Modric, Casemiro, Ceballos; Brahim, Asensio, Benzema
With Carvajal out, Odriozola will most certainly start in place of him. Reguilón had missed Thursday’s training session alongside Navas, though they’ve both been back since. Solari may choose to start Marcelo.
Just given how poor Kroos looked against Ajax on Tuesday, Solari may give him a rest this match. He could do that with Modric too with Valverde, though it may be less likely.
With Bale likely out and no Vinicius, Brahim might finally get a chance to feature again. Another option would be Isco on the left side, as was seen under Lopetegui, and Asensio on the right, but Solari doesn’t seem to favor Isco too much after his recent comments.
This would be a match where Mariano ideally would start to give Benzema a rest, but if he’s still out injured that’s not really an option here.
Masip; Antoñito, Kiko, Calero, Nacho; Keko, Anuar, Alcaraz, Hervias; Ünal, Guardiola
Valladolid-Real Madrid 1-3
Depending on the lineup, this scoreline can obviously be more affected positively or negatively. Real need a win, not just to keep their lead in the top 4 safe, but also to lift their spirits a bit. This last week has been the lowest point of the season, and that’s already taking into account that this club has already had a managerial change this season.
They need a road win for themselves at this point more so than the fanbase does, though there are low spirits surrounding the fans as well. The injuries certainly complicate things, but the club has been dealing with injuries all season.
The team needs to show they can bounce back from one of the worst periods in recent history and try and salvage some positivity from it. They won’t get close to being back in a title race, they’ll still be 12 points out even with a win, but they can further solidify a spot in next year’s Champions League and move forward with a better attitude.