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Preview: Real Madrid vs. Real Valladolid - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Real Madrid vs. Real Valladolid - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole provides team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of Saturday's La Liga fixture between Real Madrid and Real Valladolid.
By , Senior Reporter | 29d

Real Madrid head into Saturday's encounter with Real Valladolid having begun their La Liga campaign with a 3-1 victory at Celta Vigo.

Valladolid make the trip to the Bernabeu on the back of an impressive 2-1 victory over Real Betis at the Benito Villamarín Stadium.


Real Madrid


After an unconvincing pre-season which included three defeats, boss Zinedine Zidane may have had reservations about his team ahead of the trip to Balaidos last weekend.

However, while his players had to endure some shaky moments against Celta Vigo, the Frenchman would have been delighted to witness his side begin the season with three points against opponents who have the potential to test the bigger clubs.

Madrid also had to see out the remaining 34 minutes with 10 men as a result of Luka Modric's red card, while it was naturally deemed a positive that Gareth Bale contributed an assist and came through the match unscathed.

While Bale's role in the team may change should Neymar leave Paris Saint-Germain for the Bernabeu, the Wales international looked happy with his role having spent the summer being linked with a move elsewhere.

History suggests that the relationship between Zidane and Bale can change from one day to the next but ahead of an outing in front of fans who have criticised him in the past, the attacker will expect to be provided with the opportunity to prove some of his doubters wrong.

Perhaps the main concern for Zidane right now is the uncertainty surrounding players who may arrive or leave, with five of his seven substitutes last weekend still unclear over where they will spend this campaign.

Nevertheless, especially given Barcelona's surprise setback at Athletic Bilbao last week, Zidane will know that getting wins on the board at this stage of the season could prove decisive come May.

How Los Blancos perform on Saturday will be Zidane's top priority come the weekend, although do not be surprised to see the club legend make a plea for another star name in the press after the full-time whistle, regardless of whether his team has made it two wins from two.

Recent form: W


Real Valladolid


Having earned a return to Spain's top flight as recently as last year, Valladolid's main objective is to ensure that they avoid relegation to the second tier in the foreseeable future.

Retaining their La Liga status by a four-point margin during the most recent campaign was considered a significant achievement, especially when three wins were required from their final five fixtures.

Sergio and his squad will now look to avoid a relegation battle this time around, a challenge which has been helped by a relatively-surprising 2-1 success at Betis.

Their hosts last week have aspirations of qualifying for Europe, but a late effort from Oscar Plano earned Valladolid all three points on their travels.

The next objective is trying to find a way to avoid defeat at the Bernabeu, something which they have not done since a Copa del Rey tie in 2005.

Nevertheless, just six visits have been made over the past 14 years, while Valladolid have a history of being competitive when facing Madrid on away territory.

While there will be a desire to gain a result, Sergio may already be looking towards the next two games, which come against potential lower-table rivals Levante and Osasuna.

The results in those kind of matches will likely determine whether Valladolid prolong their time in La Liga although it may leave a talented group of players relishing the chance to cause an upset without much pressure on their shoulders.

Recent form: W


Team News


With Eden Hazard not expected back from injury until next week, Bale is likely to keep his spot in attack alongside Lucas Vazquez and Karim Benzema.

As a result of Modric serving a one-match suspension for his dismissal last weekend, Isco could be provided with an opportunity in midfield.

Dani Carvajal should return at right-back in place of Alvaro Odriozola having served a ban for the opening fixture of the season.

Valladolid will be without Everton loanee Sandro Ramirez after he sustained a muscle problem last weekend.

Former Manchester City man Enes Unal is expected to take his place in attack alongside Sergi Guardiola.

Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Kroos, Casemiro, Isco; Vazquez, Benzema, Bale

Real Valladolid possible starting lineup:
Masip; Moyano, Salisu, Olivas, Nacho; Antonito, Mohamed, Michel, Plano; Guardiola, Unal


Head To Head

Madrid head into Saturday's contest having put together a nine-match unbeaten streak against Valladolid, with eight of those games ending in victory.

You have to go all the way back to November 2008 for Valladolid's last success, which came by a 1-0 scoreline at Estadio Jose Zorrilla.

Last season's corresponding fixture saw Madrid net twice in the final seven minutes to run out 2-0 winners.



We say: Real Madrid 3-1 Real Valladolid

While Zidane would have been delighted with last week's result, he will be aware that his side are under pressure to deliver a repeat performance in front of their own supporters. However, while Valladolid will have nothing to lose, expect the hosts to battle their way to maximum points.


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