Real Madrid vs Valencia
Estadio Santiago Bernabeu is the venue as Real Madrid and Valencia lock horns in an exciting La Liga showdown.
Real Madrid had a field day in midweek, easing past Sporting Braga 3-0 at home to confirm progression into the Champions League knockout stages with two games to spare following a four-game winning start to their Group C campaign. Proving that they can score without Jude Bellingham in the line-up was a crucial milestone after Carlo Ancelotti’s side followed up a stunning 2-1 comeback win over Barcelona in El Clasico with a gut-wrenching 0-0 home draw against Rayo Vallecano. That result means they begin this round two points adrift of surprise leaders Girona despite only losing once in 12 La Liga fixtures this season (W9, D2). Before Vallecano’s superb defensive showing, ‘Los Blancos’ had won all four previous home league matches via a combined score of 10-2, suggesting a sixth consecutive top-flight home H2H triumph could be on the cards.
As for visiting Valencia, a late first-half penalty inspired Ruben Baraja’s side to a pulsating 1-0 home win over Granada last weekend, extending their unbeaten league run to four matches (W2, D2). That result has somewhat deviated from the pattern, marking only Valencia’s second clean sheet in seven La Liga games. However, ‘Los Che’ leaked the goals at a worrying rate on the road, conceding seven on six league travels in 2023/24. Since they’ve yet to keep a league clean sheet on the road this term, the visitors would be correct to doubt their prospects in Madrid, especially considering they’ve conceded 2+ goals in their last ten top-flight away H2Hs.