Thursday, July 18, 2019

Prediction: Real Madrid vs Valencia

Verdict: Over 3.5 goals – yes

Best Odds: 13/10

Bookmaker: 888sport

Two of Spain’s representatives in the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League will meet this Saturday at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, as Real Madrid will host Valencia in a thrilling Liga contest. Both sides are desperate for the three points given their position in the standings, so we could be in line for a very open, intense encounter.

Real Madrid

We could easily compared Real Madrid’s season to a roller coaster ride – it has had peaks, ups, and downs but whenever you get off, you’re still dizzy for a while. Los Merengues have dealt with inconsistencies once again, but they have benefited from a surprisingly tight Liga so they remain very much alive in the title race if they can string some wins together. That, unfortunately, has been one of the things that Real have struggled to do. They seemed to be turning the corner following the arrival of Santiago Solari, but their previous league match ended with a 0-3 loss at Eibar. They bounced back with a 2-0 away win at Roma in the Champions League earlier this week, though. The big question here seems to be which Real side will appear against Valencia. They need to play on a similar level to the one of the Roma match if they want to claim the three points.

Team News

Los Merengues won’t have Casemiro in this one, as the Brazilian midfielder is currently sidelined with an ankle injury.

Several other players are doubtful ahead of this game. The list includes Nacho, Keylor Navas (both knee), Sergio Reguilon, Jesus Vallejo (both muscle), and Alvaro Odriozola (thigh).

Valencia

Valencia haven’t had a good season and even though they have lost just twice in 13 league outings thus far, they have also won just three times. To put things into perspective, Valencia are riding a two-game winning streak (victories over Getafe and Rayo Vallecano)… so at one point, Valencia had only ONE win during their first 11 Liga matches. That’s not good if we compare it to what they did last season, where they ultimately ended clinching a Champions League berth. Most of their issues have come with their inability to turn draws into wins (eight draws so far, a league-high) but their lack of firepower should also raise concerns. Los Che have scored just 11 times in league play, although they balance it out quite well since they have conceded only nine so far. Will they be able to push Real Madrid’s defence and pull the upset at Santiago Bernabeu?

Team News

Valencia do not have any confirmed absentees ahead of this game, but there are players who will be game-time decisions.

The list includes Denis Cheryshev (calf), Ezequiel Garay (thigh) and Rodrigo (muscle).

Key Factors to Consider

  • Real Madrid have already conceded 19 goals during the current Liga campaign. They haven’t allowed that many goals in 13 games since the last decade.
  • Valencia have not allowed goals in each of their past four away matches.
  • The last 14 matches between these two sides have had over 0.5 goals scored. We can certainly expect a few goals here!
  • Valencia are currently riding a five-game undefeated run away from home in La Liga, with two wins and three draws.
  • Meanwhile, Real Madrid have lost just once of their previous five home matches in all competitions: W3, D1, L1.

Conclusion

Both Valencia and Real Madrid need the three points here, especially considering how tight the standings are.

With that in mind – and considering the amount of talent on both squads – we could be in line for a very open match.

Verdict: Over 3.5 goals – yes

Best Odds: 13/10

Bookmaker: 888sport

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Juan Pablo Aravena


A freelance writer and sports analyst with almost five years of experience in the industry before joining SoccerNews, Juan Pablo Aravena is based in Chile and currently contributes to several publications and websites including SoccerNews, 12up, and Sports From The Basement, while also working as a fantasy beat writer for RotoWire, as a database editor for EA Sports, and as a football analyst for SmartOdds and InsideFutbol. His areas of focus are Serie A, Bundesliga, Premier League, LaLiga, and Ligue 1, but he has also written about MLS and South American football in the past.

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