Los Blancos welcome Real Valladolid to the Bernabeu on Sunday. With the league practically done, it’ll be interesting to see Ancelotti’s tactical approach to these games. He can’t approach the game with complacency because Valladolid need all three points to continue their fight against relegation.
Business end of the season for Real
Real Madrid should use the La Liga matches to build momentum and confidence before heading into their crucial Champions League fixture against Chelsea. It’s important to not become complacent as previously mentioned because Barca’s point lead can get even more embarrassing.
Benzema and Vini can try to regain their chemistry which will be important if Los Blancos are to defend their UCL title.
Ancelotti should also take these games seriously. He’s as important as the players if Madrid are to defend the UCL and go far in the Copa del Rey. Evidently, his spot in the managerial booth for next season isn’t secure. Raul, Poch, Xabi Alonso as well as Julien Naglesmann are being mentioned to replace the Italian. Will he keep his job if Madrid go trophy-less or is a trophy necessary to stay another season? Only time will tell.
Valladolid can be dangerous
The reverse fixture was much closer than the result showed. Valladolid defended extremely well and always looked dangerous with their pace and technical ability on the counter attack. Since then they’ve evidently been struggling. They sit in 16th position on 28 points and have only won one of their last five games. They have no room to slip up as Espanyol as well as Valencia both have weapons that can drag them to safety.
José Rojo Martín must gather his troops to fight for the badge and fans to achieve their goal for the second half of this season; staying up. It must be a collective effort as Madrid only need one chance to end a game.
Courtois; Lucas Vasquez, Militao, Rudiger, Nacho; Tchouameni, Camavinga, Kroos; Asensio, Benzema, Vini Jr
Score Prediction: Real Madrid 3-1 Real Valladolid
Most matches after the international break are challenging. Players are returning from different systems which sometimes takes time to get readjusted to. It may be a close game in the first half but I expect Madrid to get the job done. Unlike earlier in the season, performances do matter. The title race is over and Madrid must focus on complete performances from a defensive and offensive standpoint. Let’s see if this game is the start of it.
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