Sports Mole previews Saturday’s La Liga clash between Real Madrid and Valencia, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Real Madrid will attempt to return to winning ways in Spain’s top flight when they resume domestic matters on Saturday evening with a contest against Valencia at Bernabeu.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side, who are second in the table, drew 0-0 with Rayo Vallecano in La Liga last weekend, while eighth-placed Valencia recorded a 1-0 win over Granada last time out....Click Here To Continue Reading>>
Real Madrid booked their spot in the last-16 stage of the Champions League with two games to spare courtesy of a 3-0 success over Braga on Wednesday evening, with Brahim Diaz, Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo on the scoresheet for the most successful side in the history of European football.
However, Los Blancos were held to a goalless draw by Rayo in the league last weekend, and they have only actually won one of their last three in Spain’s top flight, which proved to be El Clasico at the end of October.
Ancelotti’s side are no longer at the top of the table, with Girona, who are having an extraordinary campaign, at the summit on 31 points, two points clear of second-placed Real Madrid, while Barcelona are two points behind their Clasico rivals in third position.
Real Madrid will be desperate to enter the international break off the back of a league success, and they have won each of their last five home La Liga games with Valencia, including a 2-0 victory in the corresponding match during the 2022-23 campaign.
Valencia recorded a 1-0 win when the two teams last met at Mestalla in May, though, and Los Che will certainly be the fresher of the two teams due to Real Madrid’s European commitments.
Valencia finished 16th in Spain’s top flight last term, which proved to be their worst final position in La Liga since being relegated to the Segunda Division at the end of the 1985-86 campaign.
Los Che have shown plenty of positives in the early months of this season, though, boasting a record of five wins, three draws and four defeats from 12 matches to collect 18 points, which has left them in eighth spot.
Ruben Baraja’s side side are only three points behind fifth-placed Athletic Bilbao and will certainly have their eyes on a potential European spot this term, with a youthful squad boasting a lot of talent.
Valencia will bring a five-game unbeaten run into this contest, winning three of their last four games in all competitions, including a 1-0 success over Granada in La Liga last time out, with Pepelu’s first-half penalty proving to be the difference between the two sides.
Los Che boast one of the biggest young talents in La Liga, with Javi Guerra’s performances drawing a host of attention, and the 20-year-old will again be looking to impress on Saturday evening, with a strong performance against Real Madrid potentially increasing the interest.
Real Madrid La Liga form:
Real Madrid form (all competitions):
Valencia La Liga form:
Valencia form (all competitions):
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Real Madrid’s injury list is growing, with Kepa Arrizabalaga picking up a muscular problem during the warm-up ahead of the Braga clash, so Andriy Lunin is set to start between the sticks here.
Aurelien Tchouameni is also out until at least December with a broken foot, while Eder Militao and Thibaut Courtois are long-term absentees due to serious knee injuries.
Dani Ceballos remains a doubt despite recently returning to training after a muscular problem, while Antonio Rudiger is out of this match through suspension, so Nacho is likely to feature in the middle.
Jude Bellingham was only a substitute against Braga due to concerns over a sore shoulder, but he should return here, while Dani Carvajal and David Alaba are also expected to return to the XI.
As for Valencia, Andre Almeida, Mouctar Diakhaby, Jesus Vazquez and Alberto Mari remain unavailable for selection due to injury problems.
Selim Amallah is also a doubt due to the issue that forced him off early against Granada last time out, which could lead to Dimitri Foulquier featuring in a wide position from the first whistle.
Hugo Duro, who has scored five times in Spain’s top flight last season, overcame an injury to feature against Granada, and he should again operate in the final third of the field.
Diego Lopez has scored twice in the league in 2023-24, meanwhile, and the 21-year-old is also expected to retain his attacking role for Saturday’s contest in the Spanish capital.
Real Madrid possible starting lineup:Lunin; Carvajal, Nacho, Alaba, Mendy; Valverde, Camavinga, Kroos; Bellingham; Vinicius, Rodrygo
Valencia possible starting lineup:Mamardashvili; Correia, Mosquera, Paulista, Gaya; Perez, Pepelu, Guerra, Foulquier; Lopez, Duro
We say: Real Madrid 2-1 Valencia
Valencia are capable of making this an uncomfortable match for Real Madrid, with Los Che boasting a number of talented players in the forward positions. Los Blancos will be determined to return to winning ways in Spain’s top flight, though, and we are backing them to navigate their way to all three points on Saturday.
For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.
Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:data
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Saturday’s Transfer Talk Update: Joao Palhinha, Javi Guerra, Ryan Gravenberch
Sports Mole rounds up the latest confirmed transfer news and speculation from across the footballing world.
The January transfer window is almost here and clubs around the UK and Europe are lining up moves as they look to take advantage of the opportunity to strengthen.
Saturday morning’s headlines:...Click Here To Continue Reading>>
Manchester United and Liverpool reportedly enter the race to sign Fulham midfielder Joao Palhinha, who is also attracting interest from Arsenal. Read more.
Chelsea are reportedly willing to do whatever it takes to secure the services of Napoli striker Victor Osimhen. Read more.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp plays down speculation suggesting the club will look to sign a new centre-back to replace the injured Joel Matip. Read more.
Manchester City goalkeeper Zack Steffen is reportedly in advanced talks with Colorado Rapids over a deal to return to Major League Soccer. Read more.
Premier League duo Chelsea and West Ham United reportedly receive a boost in their pursuit of Lyon’s 20-year-old attacker Rayan Cherki. Read more.
Valencia are allegedly willing to sell midfielder Javi Guerra for a fee in the region of £34.2m amid interest from Manchester United. Read more.
Pep Guardiola apologises to Kalvin Phillips for not selecting him in the Manchester City team this season, but the Citizens boss admits that he “struggles to see” the midfielder in his plans. Read more.
Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot, who has been heavily linked with Manchester United, will reportedly sign a new deal in Turin. Read more.
Sporting director Matt Hobbs reveals that defender Jonny will not train with the first team until February at the earliest after a training-ground incident last week. Read more.
Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund meet to discuss a possible swap deal involving Jadon Sancho and Donyell Malen, according to a report. Read more.
RB Leipzig head coach Marco Rose plays down claims that Timo Werner has been given the green light to leave the club during the January transfer window. Read more.
Real Madrid are reportedly keeping a close eye on the uncertain contract situation of Bayern Munich defender Alphonso Davies, whose deal expires in 2025. Read more.
Barcelona reportedly rekindle their interest in Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford and are considering offering Raphinha in exchange for the Englishman. Read more.
Ferran Torres allegedly tells Xavi that he is prepared to remain at Barcelona for at least the remainder of the season. Read more.
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Team News: Alisson Becker returns for Liverpool, Jarell Quansah starts
Alisson Becker returns in goal for Liverpool’s Premier League clash with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park, while Jarell Quansah starts in defence.
Alisson Becker has returned in goal for Liverpool’s Premier League clash with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
The Brazil international has been out with a thigh issue since November’s 1-1 draw with champions Manchester City but has made a quick recovery to demote Caoimhin Kelleher back down to the bench.
Crystal Palace: Johnstone; Ward, Andersen, Guehi, Clyne; Richards, Lerma; Ayew, Hughes, Schlupp; EdouardSubs: Matthews, Tomkins, Riedewald, Ozoh, Ahamada, Olise, Franca, Ebiowei, Mateta
Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Quansah, Van Dijk, Tsimikas; Gravenberch, Endo, Szoboszlai; Salah, Nunez, DiazSubs: Kelleher, Gomez, Konate, Jones, Gakpo, Elliott, Doak, McConnell, Bradley
More to follow.
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