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Match Preview: Valencia v Real Madrid

Home » Match Preview: Valencia v Real Madrid

Valencia host Real Madrid on Sunday evening as Los Blancos look to keep the pressure on title rivals Barcelona ahead of El Classico on Wednesday night.

Valencia v Real Madrid – La Liga

Venue: Mestalla

Date: 15/12/19

Kick Off: 20:00

TV Channel: Premier Sports

Both sides come into the game fresh off impressive Champions League wins, with Real Madrid defeating Club Brugge away with a much changed side, whilst Valencia sprung a surprise away at Ajax, winning 1-0 to secure qualification into the Last 16.

Real Madrid sit second on goal difference, and this week will go a long way to deciding their fate this season. With El Classico looming in midweek, they will be keen to press on their impressive run of form, and will be buoyed by the fact they could rest key players in midweek for the trip to Belgium.

A routine victory last weekend over Espanyol kept the pressure on their Catalan rivals, as goals from Raphael Varane and Karim Benzema guided Zinedine Zidane’s side to victory. Youngster Vincius Junior and Rodrygo impressed out wide, causing the Espanyol backline all sorts of problems, and Zidane will be hoping for the same, in a side missing star man Eden Hazard, as well as being reluctant to call upon Gareth Bale for game time. Ferland Mendy saw red for a second yellow, leaving them short at left back, and Eder Militao is expected to fill the void.

Valencia sit 8th in La Liga, just one point off Sociedad in fourth, and after a sluggish start to the season which saw Marcelino sacked as manager, they have kicked on. The injury stricken squad has pulled off some impressive results in the past weeks, managing to navigate their way through a tough Champions League group, whilst also defeating Levante 4-2 last weekend. An own goal, followed by a double from Kevin Gameiro and a late goal from Feran Torres, saw Valencia come from 2-0 down, and whilst their attack has impressed, their defence has at times looked vulnerable.

Without influential striker Maxi Gomez for the visit of Real, the stretched squad is becoming even more of a worry, and with an xGa of 27.14, keeping a clean sheet is by no means an easy task. Coupled with Real only conceding 11, at an xGa of 14.23, it sets up to be an interesting encounter, particularly with the injuries on both sides.

Team News:

Valencia are in the midst of an injury crisis, and will be without Cristiano Piccini, Goncalo Guedes, Kang-in Lee, Denis Cheryshev, Geoffrey Kondogbia, Maxi Gomez and Jasper Cillessen, highlighting their woes.

Real Madrid will be without both Ferland Mendy and Marcelo at left back, whilst Eden Hazard is out. Marcos Asensio, Lucas Vazquez, James Rodriguez and Brahim Diaz all miss out, as both sides have to contend with lengthy injury lists.

Head to Head:

Valencia Wins – 10

Draws – 11

Real Madrid Wins – 26

Match Stats:

Valencia have only won one of the last five La Liga meetings between the two sides

Rodrigo Moreno has made six assists in La Liga this season, equalling his best tally in a single campaign

Zinedine Zidane has lost on two of his three trips to Valencia in La Liga

Team Form:

Valencia 8th / L D W W W Last Five

Real Madrid 2nd / W D W W W Last Five

Suggested Bets:

When considering the injury worries that have struck Valencia, coupled with their leaky defence, the immediate stand out option is Real Madrid at 10/11. The form of Karim Benzema can’t be overlooked, and their impressive defensive record, even without a recognised left back, means they are a value price.

Valencia will look to sit in and frustrate Real Madrid for long periods, and although the goals tally of both teams suggest it should be an open encounter, I am actually looking to oppose the goal markets. Real Madrid have shown away at Sevilla that they are willing to be patient in these games, and when in front, they are a particularly tough nut to crack. Priced at 29/20, under 2.5 goals is worth a play, looking from a tactical, rather than statistical, perspective.

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