Valencia vs Real Madrid

January 2, 2016
By: Milos Markovic

La Liga Sunday match programme closes with a derby game between Valencia and Real Madrid who will square off at Mestalla eager to open the new calendar year 2016 with a much needed win.

Neville hopes to break the duck

Newly-appointed Valencia manager heads into the match with Real Madrid in search of his first league win since taking the reins last month. Having lost to Villarreal 1-0 on the last day of 2015, former England defender has so far picked up just two points from his three games in charge. Most recent slump in form has seen Los Che drop to the 10th place in the standings with 11 points adrift of the Champions League position. The former Manchester United player has found it hard to put his feet on the ground at his new job with the only win under Neville coming in the Copa del Rey over the lowly Barakaldo. With the transfer window now wide open, Gary Neville was expected to demand some more spending in order to strengthen his squad, but he will not rush into any decision as he is yet to get to know his own squad. Real Madrid match will be his toughest challenge yet and Neville will need to know that Valencia have won only one of their last 12 league games against Los Blancos. On the bright side, Los Che boat an excellent home record going 21 game without a single loss at Mestalla.

Neville’s job against Real Madrid will be made hard with plenty of selection issues. Valencia Manager will have to do without Diego Alves, Sofiane Feghouli, Zakaria Bakkali all rule out through injuries and Jose Gaya and Shkodran Mustafi under major doubt.

Rafa Benitez under the spotlight

Despite the 3-1 home win over Real Sociedad on Wednesday, Real Madrid manager was once more the subject of heavy jeers from the crowd at Santiago Bernabeu, who made sure their voice was heard. The game against Real Sociedad has seen Cristiano Ronaldo score 57 goals in as many games in 2015, which he finished in fantastic fashion. The Portugal star will be eager to keep his excellent scoring exploits in the new calendar year and to keep up with Neymar and Luis Suarez who are topping the La Liga scoring charts at the moment. Los Blancos have had a great ending to the last year having scored 21 goal in their last four matches winning three of those in the process. Despite the demanding crowd, Real Madrid are still firmly in frame for the title sitting in third place just two points adrift of the joint-leaders Atletico Madrid and Barcelona. Heading into the derby game against Valencia, Real Madrid will have to be cautious about their away record as they have lost two of their last three La Liga games on the road, to Sevilla and Villarreal. However, Madrid-based club are undefeated in 13 of the last 14 matches against Los Che in all competitions and that makes solid ground for optimism.

Rafael Benitez will be delighted to hear that there are no selection problems and that he will have his full crop to choose from. Sergio Ramos and Dani Carvajal have both returned to the fold and not many changes are expected from Real Madrid manager for the trip to Valencia.


Gary Neville has suffered his first loss as Valencia boss and there is no better way to set the record straight than winning against the great rivals such are Real Madrid. Valencia will go into this game head first and I expect to see goals at both ends.

Pick: Away win   1.57 (4/7) @SkyBet

Alternative pick 1: Over 2.5 goals   1.51 (18/35) @Unibet

Alternative pick 2: Both teams to score – Yes   1.6 (6/10) @Betfair

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