Valencia – Real Madrid Match Preview
Real Madrid suffered a 4-2 mid-season friendly defeat to Milan in Abu Dhabi this week, but Carlo Ancelotti’s team head to Mestalla having won all of their last 22 competitive outings, a new Spanish record. Valencia who have won 6 out of 8 home matches, enter 2015’s first round of league fixtures in fourth place and eight points behind Madrid. Only Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao have avoided defeat at Valencia home ground so far this season.
Valencia have completed the signing of 28 year-old Argentinean midfielder Enzo Perez, who trained with his new colleagues for the first time on New Year’s Eve following a move from Benfica reported to be worth in the region of €25 million. Of all teams in Spain, Valencia have recorded the most wins against Real Madrid, with a total of 42. However, recent times have been hard for Los Che against the champions. They have not beaten Madrid in 10 meetings and have lost five games in a row as hosts.
The main selection issue facing Ancelotti and Real is whether to pitch Marcelo back into action at left-back as the Brazil international sustained a thigh injury during Real’s Club World Cup final triumph over San Lorenzo, but has returned to training ahead of schedule. Columbian, James Rodriguez missed Real’s previous La Liga game at Almeria due to a calf problem but is ready to return to domestic duty having completed 90 minutes against San Lorenzo. Fellow midfielder Luka Modric remains Ancelotti’s most notable absentee due to a thigh complaint that is expected to keep him out for another six weeks.
Our Probable Formations:
Valencia (188.8.131.52) Alves, Barragàn, Otamendi, Mustafi, Gayà, Fuego, Augusto, Rodrigo, Gomes, Piatti and Negredo.
Real Madrid (4.3.3) Casillas, Carvajal, Pepe, Ramos, Coentrao, Illarramendi, Kroos, Isco, Ronaldo, Benzema and Bale.
Some Hot Tips:
Real Madrid have won their last 12 matches in La Liga.
Real Madrid have been winning at both half time and full time in their last 7 away matches in La Liga.
Real Madrid have scored at least 2 goals in their last 12 matches in La Liga.
There have been over 2.5 goals scored in Real Madrid’s last 9 games in La Liga.
Valencia have seen over 2.5 goals in 8 of their last 9 home matches against Real Madrid in all competitions.
Real Madrid have scored at least 3 goals in 5 of their last 6 away matches against Valencia in all competitions.
Real Madrid are undefeated in their last 12 matches against Valencia in all competitions.