LaLiga: Real Madrid vs Valencia preview


Real Madrid have to keep winning if they want to preserve their title chances, and the immediate hurdle is Saturday's match with Valencia at Santiago Bernabeu. Valencia were one of the few teams that have beaten Real Madrid this season, they won the reverse fixture 2-1 in February. Moreover, Valencia have won two of the last six direct meetings and Real Madrid won just one.

Real Madrid recovered from last weekend's derby defeat against rivals Barcelona with a 6-2 victory at Deportivo La Coruna in midweek, but Barcelona are still tied with them at the top of the table. Real Madrid can guarantee the title if they win the remaining five league matches, as they have a game in hand on Barcelona. Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo were rested in midweek and they will most likely be back in the starting eleven for Saturday's match.

Valencia had a disappointing season, especially the start of the campaign. They have recovered more or less in the second part of the season but the best they can hope for now is to finish somewhere around the middle of the table. However, a match at Santiago Bernabeu will surely motivate the Valencia players to do their best to avoid defeat. Joao Cancelo and Simone Zaza are suspended for Saturday's match.

Probable line-ups:

Real Madrid: Navas - Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo - Kroos, Casemiro, Modric - Asensio, Benzema, Ronaldo

Valencia: Alves - Montoya, Mangala, Garay, Lato - Perez, Parejo - Mina, Soler, Nani - El Haddadi

My prediction: Real Madrid to win 3-1.

Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:

Real Madrid win - 1.17
Draw - 9.00
Valencia win - 13.00

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