The Los Blancos take on the Bats today in their first clash of the year and a win can potentially see them climb up the table, above arch rivals Barcelona.
It is the 18th matchday of the Spanish Primera and both the teams will enter the Mestella stadium with the intention to win. While Madrid occupy the 3rd position in the league, Valencia are languishing at the No 11 position and the new boss will aim to start this year with his first win with the Bats. With the odds in the favour of Gary Neville’s side as Madrid don’t boast of a great away record this season with 2 losses in their past 3 away games. Also Valencia have beaten the Whites on four previous occasions and the European giants thus will be wary of taking on Valencia in their own backyard. However, the recent track record of the Los Blancos and their thrashing of their opponents by a whopping 10 goals, is the proof of the recent ideology at play in the Madrid camps. The match is also a test for the Madrid boss who is still out to achieve public support despite his team’s terrific performances in the last 2 games. The game sees Ramos back in the foray to lead the team once again with James too likely to feature in the starting 11. The highlight of the game will presumably be the performance of that Madrid trio who have scored a humongous 10 goals between them in just 2 games!
The task of guarding the post continues to be the job of a certain Costa Rican who has been phenomenal for Madrid. Navas has kept 7 clean sheets in the past 15 games and continues to display exceptional skills in the absence of a strong defensive line. Navas will be an instrumental figure if Madrid are to bag those 3 points from this encounter and start their year on a positive note.
Madrid’s back four are likely to be Sergio Ramos, Danilo, Pepe and Marcelo. This season the defence has let the team down which has led to defeats at the hands of Sevilla, Villareal and that Thrashing at the hands of the Catalans. Navas can do so much as long as the defence does its job. With Ramos back and Carvajal and Varane too seemingly fit, Benitez would hope that this defence debacle is solved to make his position at the club a little comfortable.
Kroos and Modric will be the occupants of the defensive midfield and would have to play a key role, if Madrid is to take the game home. While Kroos seem to be in a good nick after coming back from their respective injuries, Modric seems to be struggling. Madrid need to make most of the setback that Barcelona suffered and climb to the top of the table to strengthen their title hopes.
Cristinao Ronaldo Gareth Bale and James will handle the task of taking the game to the opponents and the recent exploits of the trio does not bode well for Gary Neville. Real Madrid’s campaign will highly depend on the duo’s goal scoring prowess and the addition of James back into the squad just more firepower upfront and we know that the best way to win matches at the end of the day is by scoring goals.
Karim Benzema will be Madrid’s frontman and the Frenchman despite his off field plight has been great for the Los Blancos. Benzema has scored 11 goals in his 12 games so far and his partnership with Ronaldo and Bale has led to terrific outcomes for the Madrid outfit.