With the obligation to win after triumph of the leader Atlético de Madrid in Granada, the Real Madrid faces his duel before a Valencia reinforced by improvement in the game and results, with the return of players of the importance of Dani Carvajal, Toni Kroos and Lucas Vázquez as a relief to the plague of casualties and the objective of chain three triumphs that restore self-esteem.
Two months after a good run of results, with five consecutive league games of victories, the Real Madrid aims to settle in stability at the expense of the unpredictable Valencia. A team that hit him hard in the Mestalla in the first round, in one more demonstration that Zinedine Zidane’s men lowered the intensity against duels that have lost their greatness at the moment of the rival.
You can no longer afford it. It has not had a network for a long time. And to stay alive in the title fight, only serves him the third win of a week of reconstruction. Get it Zidane with just. In full plague of casualties. Going from nine against Getafe to seven against the Che team, but with the relief of having more choice options with the return of Carvajal to have a right back, Kroos in command and Lucas Vázquez as a wild card.
The Madrid coach must decide if he maintains the system with which he solved the problems against Getafe and signed an image of firmness, a 1-3-5-2 with the novelty of three centrals, or returns to his usual 1-4-3-3 with an offensive trident. Carvajal is ready to play, out of action since January 2, which allows him to return to the line of four behind, passing Ferland Mendy on the wing after his great level as third center-back.
With the casualties of Sergio Ramos, Militao, Álvaro Odriozola and Marcelo in defence, Fede Valverde in the core more Eden Hazard and Rodrygo In the trident, the options are reduced for Zidane, who recovers his usual midfield with the return of Kroos after suspension and everything indicates that he will keep the Brazilian Vinicius as a starter in an attack with Marco Asensio and Karim Benzema, who has measured the Valencia.
Javi Gracia’s team comes to the meeting reinforced by the improvement in the game and the results of the last weeks, since they have only lost one of their last six league games and have added nine of the eighteen possible points, after having achieved only three points in the previous six days.
Thanks to this improvement, the Valencian team has settled in the middle area of the table, almost already at the same distance from the Europa League positions, from which they are separated by six points, as well as from relegation, on which they already have a mattress of four.
This reinforcement joins the memory of the match that both teams played at the Mestalla stadium in the first round, in which Valencia won 4-1 with three goals from Carlos Soler from the penalty spot. The Valencian midfielder will be available despite some muscular discomfort and it is expected that he will form a couple again in the center of the field with Uros Racic if Gracia does not introduce any system change.
Casualties of Hugo Guillamón (sanctioned) and of Mouctar Diakhaby (injured) leave Gabriel Paulista as a central reference and the coach will have to choose between making his debut for the newcomer Francisco Rais ‘Ferro’, using Eliaquim Mangala, who has been out of the team for weeks due to a sanction and some system change.
Own Javi grace it is also sanctioned. The Competition Committee has imposed two games and one on Guillamón, for understanding that the coach urged him to force a yellow card on matchday eleven after injuring himself to serve the sanction for accumulating five in the crash that was going to be lost due to injury . In addition to the two centrals, he suffers the losses of Jasper Cillessen, Cristiano Piccini and Denis Cheryshev and will recover Kevin Gameiro compared to recent weeks although it seems that he will keep the bet on Maxi Gómez in the lead.
Real Madrid: Courtois; Carvajal, Nacho, Varane, Mendy; Casemiro, Modric, Kroos; Marco Asensio, Vinicius and Benzema.
Valencia: Jaume; Thierry, Gabriel Paulista, Mangala or Ferro, Gayà; Wass, Racic, Carlos Soler, Guedes; Manu Vallejo or Kang In Lee and Maxi Gómez.
Referee: José M. Sánchez Martínez (Murcian school).
Stadium: Alfredo Di Stéfano.