Real Madrid play host to Valencia on Saturday at the Santiago Bernabeu as Santiago Solari’s team look to bounce back following their shock league defeat to Eibar.
Los Blancos currently lie in sixth, having already lost five games this season, and will be overtaken by their opponents Valencia, should the visitors record a rare away win.
Solari has won all but one of his six games in charge, including a win over Roma midweek in the Champions League.
Valencia on the other hand suffered a defeat at the hands of Juventus on Tuesday after winning their previous three games in all competitions.
Check out 90min's preview of the clash below.
How to Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Saturday 01 December|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||19.45 (BST)|
|Where Is It Played?||Santiago Bernabeu|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||Eleven Sports|
Real Madrid are close to being back to full strength, however they are still without one or two players defensively. Los Blancos are without Nacho Fernandez, right-back Alvaro Odriozola and left-back Sergio Reguilon.
Spanish midfielders Dani Ceballos and Marco Asensio were both left out of the matchday squad in Rome, but both should make a return this weekend.
Solari might be tempted to keep the same XI as he did midweek, and this would mean a first league start this season for Marcos Llorente, should the manager choose not to risk Casemiro.
The only injury concern for Valencia is Denis Cheryshev, who has been missing since October with a thigh injury. Manager Marcelino has opted for two forwards recently in an attempt to bolster Los Che’s poor attacking form. However, should he opt for a more defensive approach, we may see Santi Mina or Rodrigo dropped for Dani Parejo or Francis Coquelin.
|Real Madrid||Courtois; Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo; Llorente, Kroos, Modrić; Asensio, Benzema, Bale.|
|Valencia||Neto; Wass, Paulista, Garay, Gaya; Soler, Parejo, Kondogbia, Guedes; Mina, Rodrigo|
Head to Head record
Real Madrid are unbeaten in their last three competitive games against Valencia, but have only managed to win four of the last ten.
There has only been two goalless draws between these two teams since 2004, and both of them have managed at least a goal a piece in their last 11 meetings.
Los Blancos were impressive in their last outing, easing to a 2-0 win at AS Roma. This was an important result considering their 3-0 collapse the weekend before at Eibar.
Other than the disastrous performance in Eibar, Real Madrid have been much improved under Solari, winning all but one of their games. Karim Benzema has been particularly impressive under Solari notching up three goals and two assists in his last four games.
Valencia started the season with just one win in their opening 11 games - a disappointing start considering their fourth place finish last season. They have now drawn eight out of their 13 games but back-to-back wins against Getafe and Rayo Vallecano have placed them within touching distance of their opponents.
|Real Madrid 2-0 Real Valladolid (3/11)||Valencia 0-1 Girona (3/11)
|Viktoria Plzeň 0-5 Real Madrid (7/11)||Valencia 3-1 Young Biys (7/11)
|Celta Vigo 2-4 Real Madrid (11/11)||Getafe 0-1 Valencia (10/11)
|Eibar 3-0 Real Madrid (24/11)||Valencia 3-0 Rayo Vallecano (24/11)|
|Roma 0-2 Real Madrid (27/11)||Juventus 1-0 Valencia (27/11)|
Valencia aren't the team they were last season, yet still have the joint-best defensive record in La Liga. Los Che don’t have the best record at the Bernabeu and this should encourage the home side who sit just six points behind the league leaders Sevilla despite a torrid start.
Solari will know this is an important opportunity for his team, but this is bound to be much harder than they have experienced against Valencia in recent seasons.
Real Madrid 1-1 Valencia