Two of La Liga’s under-performing heavyweights collide at the Santiago Bernabeu with Valencia looking to become just the second side to beat Real Madrid this season.
Real Madrid v Valencia – Santiago Bernabeu – 1st December 2018 – 18:45 GMT
The home side return to Madrid after sealing top spot in Group G of the Champions League after beating Roma 2-0 while Los Che exited the Champions League after defeat to Juventus.
Santiago Solari’s men have been woeful domestically this season, losing five from 13 matches, including a crushing 3-0 defeat at the hands of Eibar last weekend.
Despite that the Galacticos find themselves only six points behind leaders Sevilla, while a win here for the Bats will see them leapfrog their opponents on goal difference.
Valencia are currently on a five-match unbeaten away run whilst Madrid’s last win at home against the visitors came in 2008.
Marcelino’s men are on an upwards curve domestically and his much-improved side will be hoping to make in three wins on the bounce for the first time this season.
Santi Mina is Valencia’s top scorer with six goals in all competitions, including a brace last weekend against Rayo Vallecano.
Since the departure of Julen Lopetegui’s, 30-year old French striker Karim Benzema has three goals and two assists in his last four outings.
Brazilian defensive midfielder Casemiro is still out with an ankle injury which may see Solari opt to go with an unchanged side after their win in Rome.
An unchanged starting XI could see young Spanish midfielder Marcos Llorente make a first league start whilst Dani Ceballos and starlet Marco Asensio may be on the bench once again after dropping out of the team in midweek.
Marcelino will have to make a late call on star striker Rodrigo after he was replaced at half time in Turin after suffering a muscle injury. If the Spanish international doesn’t make it, it is likely that French forward Kevin Gameiro will start after scoring last weekend.
Argentinian centre-back Ezequiel Garay and Russian international Denis Cheryshev are still out with thigh and calf injuries respectively.
Real Madrid: Courtois; Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo; Kroos, Modric, Llorente; Lucas Vasquez, Benzema, Bale
Valencia: Neto; Wass, Gabriel, Diakhaby, Gaya; Coquelin, Kondogbia, Parejo, Guedes; Santi Mina, Rodrigo Moreno
Real Madrid 2-2 Valencia
None of the previous 14 meetings between these sides have ended scoreless whilst both teams have scored at least once in the last 11 games.
Real Madrid are unbeaten against Valencia in their last three meetings, but they have conceded 19 goals in the league thus far, so we are expecting a goal fest here at La Liga News UK.