LaLiga: Valencia vs Real Madrid preview


Real Madrid are looking to secure their fourth consecutive win and maybe make a late push for the title when they visit Valencia at Mestalla Stadium on Wednesday. The Blancos won the reverse fixture 2-0 in December with an own-goal from Daniel Wass and a late goal from Lucas. That was the fourth victory for Real Madrid over Valencia in the last six direct matches, while Valencia have only managed to win one of those six. However, last season Valencia did secure a 2-2 draw at Santiago Bernabeu and two seasons ago they defeated Real 2-1 at home.

The stakes are high for Valencia during the final couple of months of the season, they still have a chance to fight for fourth place and if they manage to grab it that would make a big difference for the club's financial prospects. They are currently down in sixth place, but fourth-placed Getafe are just three points ahead. Last week Valencia won an important battle against a rival in the race for fourth place, they defeated Sevilla 1-0 away from home and before the international break they had recorded a goalless draw against Getafe. They are unbeaten in their last sixteen matches in all competitions and they recorded nine clean sheets during that span. Francis Coquelin, Cristiano Piccini, Ruben Sobrino and Jaume Domenech are injured for the home side.

Real Madrid have found a fresh spark after the return of head coach Zinedine Zidane, they have won their last three matches after the shameful exit against Ajax Amsterdam in the UEFA Champions League and some of their fans are even hoping for a late title push. However, leaders Barcelona are twelve points ahead and it seems quite unlikely that they would squander such an advantage. Real Madrid do have a real chance of fighting for second place, as Atletico Madrid are just two points ahead. Nacho is suspended for the away side, while Vinicius Junior is injured.

Probable line-ups:

Valencia: Neto - Wass, Garay, Paulista, Gaya - Torres, Parejo, Kondogbia, Guedes - Moreno, Mina

Real Madrid: Navas - Odriozola, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo - Modric, Casemiro, Kroos - Vazquez, Benzema, Asensio

My prediction: 1-1 draw, Valencia seem impossible to beat lately.

Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:

Valencia win - 3.30
Draw - 3.60
Real Madrid win - 2.15

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