Real Madrid travel to the Mestalla to face Valencia on Sunday evening as Los Blancos look to keep pace with Barcelona at the top of La Liga.
Zinedine Zidane's side find themselves on a ten match unbeaten run in all competitions and head into this fixture in fine form, having seen off Belgian side Club Brugge by three goals to one in the final Champions League in midweek.
Albert Celades has Valencia playing some superb football this season and can also boast an impressive recent run of results. Los Ches remain unbeaten in four, beating Villarreal and Levante in the league, while prevailing over Ajax and drawing with Chelsea in the Champions League.
With both teams proving their worth in recent weeks, Sunday's fixture between Valencia and Real Madrid promises to be a thrilling contest.
Where To Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Sunday 15 December|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||20:00 (GMT)|
|Where Is it Played?||The Mestalla|
|TV Channel/Live Stream||Premier Sport HD|
|Referee?||José Maria Sánchez Martínez|
Real have a host of personnel on the injury table ahead of Sunday's fixture - Eden Hazard (ankle) remains sidelined until the new year with a slight ankle fracture, while Marco Asensio (ACL), Marcelo (calf), James Rodriguez (knee) and Lucas Vazquez (foot) are also unavailable for selection.
Ferland Mendy is suspended for this match having picked up a red card against Espanyol, potentially leaving Zidane short at the back. Gareth Bale (muscle) and Nacho (knee) should both make their return from injury against Valencia.
Valencia are having an injury crisis of their own with several key first team members currently on the sidelines. Geoffrey Kondogbia, Gonçalo Guedes, Maxi Gomez and Denis Cheryshev will be unable for selection, while Jasper Cilissen and Kevin Gameiro remain major doubts ahead of Los Vikingos' visit.
|Valencia||Domenech; Wass, Garay, Gabriel, Gaya; Soler, Coquelin, Parejo; Vallejo, Rodrigo, Torres.|
|Real Madrid||Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Odriozola; Valverde, Kroos, Casemiro; Rodrygo, Benzema, Bale.|
Head to Head Record
Rather unsurprisingly, Real Madrid dominate proceedings against Valencia with 17 wins compared to Taronges' seven, with nine ending in a draw.
Valencia do, however, have recent history on their side, winning the most recent encounter by two goals to one last April.
Real Madrid are flying and have lost only once in their 15 league games this season and head into Sunday's fixture level on points with their rivals, Barcelona. Karim Benzema has been Real's talisman so far this season and is Los Blancos' top goalscorer with 15 to his name.
La Real have the second best record for goals scored in the league (32) and Zidane has tightened things up at the back as his side have the second best defensive record, conceding just 11 goals from their opening 15 games.
Valencia are illustrating some excellent football this season under Albert Celades and are reaping the rewards, winning four out of their last five games in La Liga and scoring 11 goals in the process.
Dani Parejo has been outstanding for Los Ches this season, contributing seven goals and four assists in the league alone, while Mazi Gómez has been in a rich vein of goalscoring form, finding the net six times this season.
Here is how both teams have fared in their last five fixtures.
|Ajax 0-1 Valencia (10/12)||Club Brugge 1-3 Real Madrid (11/12)|
|Levante 2-4 Valencia (07/12)||Real Madrid 2-0 Espanyol (07/12)|
|Valencia 2-1 Villarreal (30/11)||Alavés 1-2 Real Madrid (30/11)|
|Valencia 2-2 Chelsea (27/11)||Real Madrid 2-2 PSG (26/11)|
|Real Betis 2-1 Valencia (23/11)||Real Madrid 3-1 Real Sociedad (23/11)|
With both sides in fine form, it is tough to predict the outcome of Sunday's fixture, however, given their superiority and Valencia's injury woes, Real Madrid should be more than capable of claiming all three points.
Los Blancos possess an incredible strength in depth with the likes of Benzema, Rodrygo, Vinicius Junior and Gareth Bale all viable options to lead the line.
Valencia are no pushovers, though, and will not give the visitors an easy ride. Parejo, Manu Vallejo and Ferran Torres are all solid attacking outlets and should be able to get on the score sheet.
Prediction: Valencia 1-2 Real Madrid