Welcome to live online coverage of Valencia vs Real Madrid, the rescheduled matchday 16 LaLiga Santander game which kicks-off at 18:45 CET in Mestalla.
Preview: Valencia vs Real Madrid: Matchday 16 LaLiga Santander 16/17
Real Madrid head to Mestalla in the first of their two rescheduled matches in the current LaLiga campaign. A date for the other postponed game against Celta has yet to be fixed. The game in Valencia was originally penciled in for December but had to be rescheduled due to Real Madrid’s involvement in the 2016 FIFA Club World Cup competition in Japan. Zidane’s men face a tough task against a rejuvenated Valencia side fresh from their 2-0 home win over Athletic Club at the weekend. Madrid for their part recorded a similar score-line against a spineless Espanyol side at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday
Voro’s side bounced back from three win-less games with a convincing victory over Athletic Club last Sunday at Mestalla and morale in the camp is rising as they now face the visit of league leaders to a sold-out Mestalla. With 23 points in the current campaign, “Los Che” lie in fifteenth place in the current table and are seven points away from the relegation zone. Despite Sunday’s win, this season Valencia have suffered at the usual fortress that Mestalla has become in the Spanish game. The side has strangely picked up more points away from home this season (12) with just 11 points being secured at home. In the ten games played in Valencia, the team have recorded three wins, two draws and five defeats.
Both Santi Mina and Rodrigo are missing for the home side and Voro will ponder on playing the same attacking formation using Nani and Zaza as was successfully employed last weekend against Athletic. A win against the table topping Madrid would be the perfect prescription for the Mestalla faithful who have voiced concerns about the direction the football club is being taken under businessman and majority shareholder Pete Lim. Valencia recorded a famous win against Ancelotti’s two seasons ago and last season the 2-2 draw was enough to see Rafa Benitez sacked as first team coach.
Player to watch: Parejo. The Madrid born midfielder is the lynch pin at the heart of Valencia’s creative output.
Zinedine Zidane’s table topping Real Madrid play the first of two suspended matches with the other match against Celta yet to be rescheduled. Top of LaLiga with 52 points, the game against Valencia offers the opportunity to pull away from Barcelona in second place. Madrid recorded a comfortable win last weekend against Espanyol (2-0) in a game that saw the return of Gareth Bale. The Welsh striker marked his three month absence through injury with a late strike to seal the win. In their nine games away from home this season, Madrid have recorded six wins, two draws and suffered just one defeat (away to Sevilla).
Danilo is a last minute doubt with Carvajal on stand-by to step in and Sergio Ramos is expected to return to action after sitting out last weekend’s clash through injury. The French coach has a full squad to call upon ahead of a league match that traditionally offers goals and plenty of action.
Player to watch: Cristiano Ronaldo. Whilst the Portuguese striker may be experiencing a dip in form, he will be motivated to improve on his strike rate of 11 goals against Valencia.
As of 13:00 on Tuesday 21/02 a Real Madrid win pays out €1.53 for each euro placed, whilst a home win for "Los Che"is priced at 6/1. Cristiano is firm favourite to opening the scoring with a goal from the Real Madrid No. 7 paying out €3.50 for each euro placed.