Will Madrid pass the Valencia test to remain top dogs?

Will Madrid pass the Valencia test to remain top dogs?

Current La Liga leaders Real Madrid take on a resurgent Valencia this Sunday at the Santiago Bernabeu, as they chase their 35th La Liga crown.

After losing 1-0 to Getafe, Carlo Ancelloti made 7 changes to his squad, which resulted in a 3-1 win over second division side Alyocano. However, a side similar to the one that lost to Getafe is expected to be fielded against Valencia. Dani Carvajal, Mariano Diaz, and Gareth Bale are likely to be unavailable for the match, but Los Blancos’ squad sees the return of Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, and Vinicius Junior, giving them more options up front.

Valencia are set to have Gabriel Paulista, Dimitri Foulquier, and Toni Lato to miss the trip to the Spanish capital due to injuries, while Hugo Duro is also suspended. The return of Denis Cheryshev, Jose Gaya and Omar Alderete softens the blow of having 3 defenders, and will hopefully be sufficient to keep Real’s formidable front 3 at bay.

Both Real Madrid and Valencia have had a decent season in their own right, but it is Real that are leading the table with 46 points, while Valencia have only managed 28 points and sit at 9th place. While both teams have lost in their previous La Liga games, they have also similarly bounced back to win their respective Copa del Rey matches.

A look at Real and Valencia’s previous 5 encounters paint a picture of dominance for the Madrid team, winning 4 of these occasions, and with an uncharacteristic 4-1 loss. With their current form and players returning, anyone will be hard pressed to bet against Carlo Ancelotti’s men. What we can expect, however, is fierce opposition from Valencia, as a top-4 finish is still very much in the books for them.

Our guess is a 2-1 victory in favour of Real Madrid.