Prediction: Real Madrid vs Valencia

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Rating: Over 1.5 goals in the second half

Best odds: 8/11

Bookmaker: Unibet

Hoping to expand their buffer at the top of the La Liga table this weekend, Real Madrid welcome Valencia to the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu on Saturday night.

real Madrid

Starting with the hosts, after opening the new year with what was an astonishing 1-0 loss away to Getafe, there is no doubt that Real Madrid would simply have been happy to return to win in the middle of the week. Following on from their Copa del Rey adventure with a 3-1 win out at Alcoyano, Los Blancos will be desperate to put a marker down here. Head coach Carlo Ancelotti opens up for the weekend’s matches, which still have a five-point buffer at the top of the table. With last weekend’s shock defeat against Getafe, their first loss from any of their last 17 games across all formats, the former Everton boss should at least be boosted by his team’s success at home. The Whites, who reserve their place in the knockout phase of this year’s Champions League, are unbeaten at the Bernabéu at home so far this season.

Keep up to date

Real Madrid have confirmed that both Dani Carvajal and Mariano Diaz will miss this weekend as they deal injury problems.

Serbian national team player Luka Jovic remains in doubt on Saturday night after returning a positive COVID-19 test.

Valencia

As for the visitors, while Valencia may have also equalized for 2021 with a 2-1 loss to Espanyol at home, the bats have still continued to impress many across Spain this season. Following on from their Copa del Rey adventure with a 2-1 away win over Cartagena in midweek, José Bordalás’ men have won six of their last seven matchups across all formats. Despite having managed 18 tough months at Mestalla, Los murciélagos have aimed to take care of the European places this year. With just a single defeat to their name since way back on October 27, Valencia should also be boosted by their continued success away from home. Including an action-packed 4-2 win over Levante last month, Saturday’s visitors have won each of their last five away games on spin. While Bordalás’ side may have a sad record against the Spanish giants in the capital, some in their camp may smell the chance of causing a disturbance here.

Keep up to date

Valencia will be without the trio of Gabriel Paulista, Dimitri Foulquier and Toni Lato, who are still struggling with injury problems.

Likewise, 22-year-old Hugo Duro will miss the capital as he serves a quarantine.

Key factors to consider

  • When the two teams met back in September, Real Madrid picked up a 2-1 win over Mestalla.
  • Los Blancos have not lost a home game against Valencia since back in 2005.
  • Real Madrid are unbeaten at home at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu throughout the 2021/22 campaign.
  • Valencia have won each of their last five away games across all formats.
  • Each of the last 22 straight meetings between Saturday’s opponents has ended with over 1.5 goals.

Conclusion

As both sides immediately return to winning the Copa del Rey tasks earlier this week, we could have a lively affair in the capital. To put last weekend’s shocking 1-0 loss to Getafe behind him fully, Los Blancos have continued to shine at home this season. But while Saturday’s hosts may be leading the hunt to regain their domestic crown this year, Ancelotti wants to know that his side will have to face a rigorous test here. With their aim firmly to ensure a European return this season, Valencia have shocked many throughout Spain. Gaining a reputation for their success away from home and winning each of their last five away games, chances can come at both ends. As each of the last 22 meetings ended with over 1.5 goals, we back up a similar result.

Rating: Over 1.5 goals in the second half

Best odds: 8/11

Bookmaker: Unibet



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