Saturday, January 29

Valencia examines Madrid’s streak before the break

Sergio Ramos and Rodrygo celebrate a goal from Madrid.

Sergio Ramos and Rodrygo celebrate a goal from Madrid.

Mestalla welcomes a historical duel that has lost its core, given the unstable situation in which a Valencia who has sold his references before a Real Madrid who goes to a stadium where he was used to suffering, with his starting team punished by the coronavirus with the last-minute casualties of Casemiro and Eden Hazard.

The new reality has diminished one of the most anticipated duels of each League. Real Madrid’s visit to Mestalla lowers its decibels without an audience in the stands, in an always hot duel and the level on the pitch at the moment that Valencia is living and the situation of a Covid-19 pandemic that attacks the team scored by Zinedine Zidane. In the same week the positives of the Brazilian Casemiro and the Belgian Hazard join Militao.

Zidane will look for solutions in a squad that has managed to get up from the first moment of doubt of the course. He came with two unexpected defeats when they lowered the intensity with which they must play each game. Cádiz in the League and Shakhtar in the Champions League gave two warnings to the white team of what their season could be if they do not face each game with maximum concentration.

It is the maxim of a technician for Mestalla after seeing how his players reacted in high-return matches. The triumph of the classic gave way to the most placid victory of the season against Huesca, already the extreme situation in the Champions League they responded with a vital triumph against Inter Milan. Before the stoppage for national team matches, Mestalla appears as an examination of a team in which Zidane will have to retouch his typical team.

It has the casualties of Dani Carvajal, Álvaro Odriozola, Nacho Fernández and Militao in defense, that of Casemiro in the axis and Hazard in attack. At the moment in which the Belgian player took a step forward contributing what Real Madrid lacked in attack, he was forced to stop again. Zidane will keep Lucas Vázquez as an emergency solution on the right side and Marcelo is emerging as the starter on the left side.

In the moments of absence of Casemiro is Kroos the one who takes his place. Modric will return to the starting team after being a substitute in the big games despite his good level every time he plays. Not all of them fit Zidane and he was the first victim. And in attack Vinicius will appear for Hazard in an opportunity to shine again from the beginning. Since March 8, Real Madrid has not lost in the away league.

But the current panorama of Valencia will be different. He receives the Madrid team in a historic duel in which given his unstable situation due to the loss of potential he has suffered from sales, he transfers the clear favoritism to the rival in one of the visits in which the Madridistas always assumed that they could have a setback .

The Mestalla club, although several steps below the budget, he has always wanted to try ‘you to you’ to Madrid and many times he has succeeded, but in this case, a triumph for Javi Gracia’s team would be considered a surprise.

With that factor, Valencia also wants to play, which awaits a more confident rival and has another push, the one that gave it the worked point that it took last week against Getafe with a final goal in the 100th minute of the match that rewarded it his undeniable effort. It was the first shock that, after the transfer of Geoffrey Kondogbia as a corollary of a summer in which he has dismantled his squad, he faced having already assumed that his first objective is salvation.

That certainty and that obligatory dose of humility gave a strength to the game of a team in which the coach seems to have things clearer every time, although he still cannot put them all into practice. The change in goal that seemed planned will be postponed due to the injury of Jasper Cillessen, and the consolidation of Thierry Correia on the right side he will have to wait for being dropped due to a penalty. The big question is whether Gracia will relocate Daniel Wass there and put Uros Racic in the center of the field or will he bet on Jason Remeseiro and will leave the Danish as a partner of Carlos Soler.

After his great goal and with his physique and self-confidence, Musah Yunus seems as fixed on the right as Máxi Gómez at the top and the two positions, left-handed winger and hook, will be divided between three lefties: Denis Cheryshev, Gonçalo Guedes and Kang In.

Probable lineups:

Valencia: Jaume; Wass, Guillamón, Paulista, Gayà; Musah, Racic, Soler, Cheryshev; Guedes and Maxi.

Real Madrid: Courtois; Lucas Vázquez, Varane, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo; Kroos, Fede Valverde, Modric; Marco Asensio, Vinicius y Benzema.

Referee: Jesús Gil Manzano (Extremadura committee).

Time: 21.00.

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