Resurgent Valencia host Real Madrid at Mestalla on Wednesday evening with both sides set to put out their strongest XIs for one of LaLiga's glamour fixtures.
Marcelino’s Valencia host Real Madrid on Wednesday evening (kick-off at 21:30 CEST) with a remarkable 16-game unbeaten run for the home side to protect and Zinedine Zidane in need of an eye-catching result after his side were given the run-around at home last weekend by Huesca, with Karim Benzema sparing the European champions’ blushes with an 89th-minute goal to rescue victory in the Bernabéu.
Valencia still have two paths open to Champions League football next season, via the Europa League, where they face local rivals Villarreal in the quarter-finals, and their league position with Los Che currently occupying sixth, four points adrift of fourth-placed Getafe.
Valencia team vs Real Madrid
Starting XI: Neto; Wass, Garay, Diakhaby, Gayà; Kondogbia, Parejo, Soler, Guedes; Gameiro and Rodrigo.
Subs: Jaume, Lato, Kang-In, Ferran Torres, Cheryshev, Santi Mina and Roncaglia.
Real Madrid team vs Valencia
Starting XI: Keylor Navas; Odriozola, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Casemiro, Kroos, Modric; Lucas Vázquez, Benzema and Asensio.
Subs: Luca Zidane, Vallejo, Mariano, Bale, Isco, Reguilón and Ceballos.
Valencia vs Real Madrid: injuries and suspensions
Marcelino’s medial room currently contains Francis Coquelin, Cristiano Piccini and Rubén Sobrino with keeper Jaume passing a late fitness test for this evening’s game. José Luis Gayá and club captain Dani Parejo are both a caution away from suspension for Valencia’s next match, away at Rayo.
Zidane will be without Vinicius in Mestalla as the Brazilian’s recovery from an ankle injury continues while Nacho will sit this one out through suspension. Thibaut Courtois and Dani Carvajal remain on the sidelines for Madrid while Gareth Bale, Lucas Vázquez and Marcelo are all one flourish of the ref’s yellow card away from being suspended against Eibar.
Valencia vs Real Madrid: what the managers said
Marcelino: “Real Madrid, in the same way as every side, only play as well as the players on the pitch do. As coaches we provide tools to get the best out of them. With Zidane, they have won lots of titles over the last few years. Without him I would have the same respect for Madrid, but with Zidane they have proved that they are a winning combination.”
Zinedine Zidane: “After the Huesca game I said that there would be changes to the team against Valencia and that's what we are planning to do, make a few changes and put in a good game. It's going to be a great game, one that players really enjoy. We'll be setting out to play a good game - in spite of the late kick-off time.”