Real Madrid is searching for their first win of 2022 when they take on Valencia at the Bernabeu on Saturday.
Los Blancos opened up the new year with a loss to Getafe last weekend, which was just Real’s second loss of the season. They now look for three points as they host ninth-place Valencia this weekend. Real haven’t lost in their last 26 home matches in La Liga.
Valencia opened the new year with a loss as well. Prior to that, they had won three straight matches. They have won their last two La Liga matches on the road.
Real Madrid received a huge boost ahead of this weekend as Vinicius has returned to the squad. Dani Carvajal returned to training with the squad recently but will not be available against Valencia. The club will also be without Gareth Bale, Luka Jovic and Mariano.
Valencia will likely be without captain Carlos Soler, Toni Lato, Dimitri Foulquier and Gabriel Paulista due to injuries. Thierry Correia will miss after testing positive for coronavirus. Hugo Duro will also miss due to suspension.
Courtois; Vazquez, Militão, Alaba, Mendy; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Rodrygo, Vinicius, Benzema
With Carvajal still out, Lucas Vazquez will likely slot in his place at right back. Rodrygo is an option for manager Carlo Ancelotti to start at right wing, though he could go again with Marco Asensio as he did in the Getafe loss.
Vinicius back in the squad surely means he will get the start on the left side with Eden Hazard moving back to the bench.
Cillessen; Piccini, Diakhaby; Alderete, Guillamon, Gaya; Helder Costa, Wass, Cheryshev; Guedes, Gomez
Real Madrid—Valencia 2-1
Valencia manager Jorge Bordalas has his work cut out of him as he is missing several defenders and their captain on Saturday. It's going to be quite tough to get a third straight victory on the road.
Real Madrid is looking to bounce back after a loss to Getafe and will need to play much better football than they have to start 2022. This is the same club that went 15 straight matches unbeaten and they should be able to get their second win of the season against Valencia at home on Saturday.