Valencia host Real Madrid at the Estadio de Mestalla on Sunday evening in La Liga. Valencia look like a club in turmoil having finished ninth last season, spending no money in the off season and selling four of their best players in Ferran Torres, Rodrigo, Francis Coquelin and then Geoffrey Kondogbia this week. Real Madrid picked up a crucial 3-2 midweek win against Inter Milan and may see this as a winnable game against a struggling opponent.
Valencia have won only two of their openings eight league matches this season. Their 13 goals conceded in the third-worst in the league. In their last match, they drew 2-2 at home with Getafe thanks to an equaliser in the 10th minute of added time by Carlos Soler from the penalty spot. They had been 1-0 up after 86 minutes before conceding two quick fire goals. Valencia are three games at home without victory having drawn 1-1 with Huesca and losing 2-2 to Real Betis prior to hosting Getafe.
Valencia Team News
Valencia have three defenders missing for this clash in Eliaquim Mangala (torn muscle), Mouctar Diakhaby (hamstring), whilst Thierry Correira was sent off against Getafe and will be suspended.
Considering the poor form and the general malaise at the club, a draw here would feel like a win. Having lost two games in a row prior to the draw in their last match, they have stopped the rot and will want to build some momentum and confidence by taking a point off Real Madrid.
Real Madrid Form
Real Madrid are four games unbeaten since the shock home defeats to Cadiz and Shakhtar Donetsk. Zinedine Zidane’s side have won three of those matches and have scored 12 goals, averaging three goals scored a game.
In their last match, they beat Inter Milan 3-2 thanks to Rodrygo’s 80th minute goal. They had led 2-0 before being pegged back to 2-2. Real Madrid are nine game unbeaten away from home in La Liga, with seven wins and two draws.
Real Madrid Team News
Eden Hazard had to be substituted just after the hour mark against Inter Milan after a knock to the ankle. He is expected to be fit to play this game and start his fourth game in a row after missing the first eight games of this season.
Martin Odegaard is back in full training but this match may come too soon for him. Luka Modic will be hoping to start after being benched for three of the last four matches.
Real Madrid Motivation
Real Madrid will go all out to win this game and would likely consider a draw to be a poor result against such an out of form and weakened Valencia side. Zidane’s men are a point behind log leaders, Real Sociedad so will hope to keep pace or move ahead of them. They won’t settle for a draw at any point in the match.
Real Madrid are nine game unbeaten away from (7W, 2D – La Liga)
Real Madrid have scored 12 goals in their last 4 matches (all competitions)
Valencia have won none of their last 4 matches (La Liga)
Valencia have lost 3 of their last 4 matches (La Liga)
Valencia have conceded 8 goals in their last 4 matches (La Liga)
Valencia have won none of their last 3 home matches (La Liga)
Valencia have gone six home matches without a clean sheet (La Liga)
Valencia look to be in bad shape and lost another pivotal player this week in Geoffrey Kondogbia. Real Madrid should win this game and I am backing them to do so with a clean sheet and with Karim Benzema continuing his hot run of form.