Los Blancos will restart La Liga action on Friday night when they travel to Pucela.

Valladolid’s promotion to Spain’s first division has gone pleasantly, as the club is presently 12th in the table with five victories in 14 games. While their current record has been remarkable, as they halted the season before the World Cup with three consecutive victories, they will look to close the year on a bright point.

Real Madrid is two points off Barcelona in second place, having lost two games before the World Cup, and will be in a compelling frame of mind when they head to Valladolid. The defending champions will attempt to retain their championship, and their top scorer, Benzema, will seek to redeem himself despite missing most of the games due to injury.

Kick-off: 2 am (IST), 8:30 pm (GMT)

Real Valladolid form (all competition): L-W-L-W-W

Real Madrid form (all competition): L-D-W-L-W

Players to watch

Real Valladolid

Roque Mesa

Mesa’s contribution to Valladolid’s promotion to La Liga was critical. The 33-year-old midfielder is adept at controlling the ball and maintains great technique while working as an attacking midfielder and finding teammates in tight situations. Mesa will play a major role in this dispute.

Real Madrid

Federico Valverde

He’s a phenomenal player with an incredible work ethic and quickness; despite being a diverse player, he possesses every characteristic from shooting to defeating defenders in every circumstance. Real Madrid is fortunate to have acquired one of the team’s most talented players.

Match facts

  • Real Valladolid are winless in their last 13 games against Real Madrid (L11, D2), should they lose this as well they create the longest winless record.
  • Real Madrid have only kept two clean sheets this season, equalling their 2008-09 record.
  • Real Madrid have remained undefeated in six away games at Valladolid, (W5. D1).

Injury and player news

Jawad El Yamiq, who played for Morocco, suffered a hamstring injury in the play-off encounter, and Anuar, who was not part of the Morocco team, has yet to recuperate from a ligament injury. While Chelsea loanee Kenedy is iffy as he heals from a groin injury.

Benzema was forced to withdraw from the France team owing to a thigh ailment that has now fully healed. And World Cup finalists Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga may not be selected, and Modric is yet another player who is unlikely to participate.

Head-to-Head

Matches: 99

Real Valladolid: 16

Draws: 21

Real Madrid: 62

Predicted lineup

Valladolid predicted lineup (4-2-3-1): Masip; Fresneda, Fernandez, J Sanchez, Escudero; K Perez, Aguado; I Sanchez, Plano, Mesa; Weissman.

Real Madrid predicted lineup (4-3-3): Courtois; Carvajal, Rudiger, Alaba, Mendy; Valverde, Kroos, Ceballos; Rodrygo, Benzema, Vinicius.

Prediction

This will be a meaningful match for both teams. Real Madrid cannot afford to widen the lead, while Valladolid will strive to keep their winning streak alive. Real Madrid are a supreme squad with a better track record, so this might be another dismal day for Valladolid, and Benzema will be willing to make a mark in this contest.

Prediction: Real Valladolid 1-3 Real Madrid

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