Real Madrid will welcome the high-flying Real Valladolid to the Santiago Bernabéu on Saturday hoping to end their barren run of form.
Real Madrid vs Real Valladolid – Santiago Bernabéu – Saturday 3rd November – Kick-off 3.15pm UK time
Interim boss Santiago Solari oversaw a 4-0 Copa del Rey win over third-tier side UD Melilla in his first game on Wednesday.
But the real test begins for Solari this Saturday, where Real hope to end a five-game winless run in La Liga.
Four defeats in five league matches have left Real seven points off leaders Barcelona down in ninth-place.
While he’s only a temp, Real desperately need Solari to deliver where the fired Julen Lopetegui couldn’t and grab the three points.
The Argentine will likely view Los Blancos’ next three La Liga fixtures against Valladolid, Celta Vigo and Eibar as an opportunity to kick-start their season.
But Valladolid are on an excellent run of form and have won five of their last six games.
Sergio González’s side are also unbeaten away this term and boast the second-best defensive record in La Liga.
Not to mention that they’re also three places above Real in sixth-place.
Ahead of his home debut as first-team manager, Solari will likely not make too many changes from Lopetegui’s usual line-up.
But the ex-midfielder will be without Dani Carvajal, Raphael Varane, Jesús Vallejo, Marcelo and Mariano Díaz due to injury.
Although Solari will be able to welcome back the rested Gareth Bale, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Isco and Casemiro.
On the other hand, Solari’s Valladolid counterpart Sergio has no new injury concerns.
While Keko and Duje Cop remain sidelined, Jordi Masip, Enes Unal and Leonardo Suarez are expected to return to the team.
Daniele Verde, who followed up his first ever La Liga last week with a brace against RCD Mallorca on Wednesday, will be hoping for a starting spot this weekend.
Real Madrid (4-3-3): Courtois; Odriozola, Ramos, Casemiro, Nacho; Kroos, Modric, Isco; Bale, Asensio, Benzema.
Real Valladolid (4-4-2): Masip; Javi Moyano, Kiko Olivas, Calero, Nacho Martínez; Verde, Alcaraz, Míchel, Toni; Leo Suárez, Ünal.
Real Madrid 2 – 0 Real Valladolid