Real Madrid: 3 predictions against Valencia at the Mestalla

Real Madrid, Thibaut Courtois (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Thibaut Courtois (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

Real Madrid will face off against Valencia on Matchday 9 in La Liga at the Mestalla, expecting nothing less than a third straight victory in league play.

It seems like Real Madrid are finally hitting their stride. Aside from the 2-0 deficit against Borussia Monchengladbach that they later made up with a furious comeback, Los Blancos have been excellent since hitting rock-bottom against Cadiz and Shakhtar Donetsk a couple of weeks ago.

Real turned it around by defeating Barcelona 3-1 at the Camp Nou and then rebounded from the draw against Gladbach by demolishing Huesca at home 4-1. Then this week on Tuesday, Real took care of business at home in a must-win matchup against Inter Milan, grabbing the full three points after Rodrygo Goes scored a late goal set up by fellow young star Vinicius Junior.

The resurgence in form has come at the right time, because the rest of the November schedule is difficult. Real must face Valencia at the Mestalla this Sunday and also have games against Villarreal and Inter (again) this month.

But with a healthy Eden Hazard, Los Merengues are supremely confident. Let’s make three predictions for their upcoming La Liga match at Valencia.

Thibaut Courtois will register another clean sheet

Somewhat surprisingly, Thibaut Courtois has not kept a clean sheet for Real Madrid since Oct. 4 in a 2-0 win over Levante. Real’s defense was the best in Europe last season, but there have been serious issues in 2020-2021, especially when Marcelo is forced to start on the left. Los Merengues have surrendered a goal in their last six games, including at least two goals allowed in each of their three Champions League fixtures.

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Courtois had a huge game against Valencia at the Mestalla last season, making some saves to keep Real in the game and then setting up Karim Benzema’s late equalizer. He also kept a clean sheet at home against Valencia this summer in a 3-0 win.

Look for Real Madrid’s defense to have a more complete showing this Sunday, with Courtois finally notching his fourth clean sheet of the season after picking up three shutout 90’s in his first four appearances of 2020-2021.

Karim Benzema will score another brace for Real Madrid

Karim Benzema struck twice the last time Real Madrid played Valencia, and he was, of course, the equalizing hero in last December’s fixture at the Mestalla. So he is familiar with scoring goals against the Bats.

Real Madrid, Karim Benzema
Karim Benzema of Real Madrid (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

Furthermore, Benzema notched his first brace of the 2020-2021 campaign last weekend in La Liga when Real Madrid made short work of Huesca 4-1. Valencia are a bigger side than Huesca, but they aren’t the same team they were last year due to their financial situation. So if Benzema could score twice against them in June, then he should be able to have a big day against them this Sunday night.

Eden Hazard’s return to health has given Benzema a huge boost. It’s no coincidence that he’s scoring more goals now that Hazard is back in the lineup.

Fede Valverde will have another excellent match

Real Madrid center midfielder Fede Valverde is in excellent form, and he’s just as strong of a candidate as anyone to win the Man of the Match award this Sunday night.

Valverde scored a good goal against Barcelona in El Clasico, and then he registered his third goal of the La Liga campaign with an even better finish last weekend vs. Huesca.

According to, Valverde’s had a goal-creating action in each of his last three games. But he’s remained just as effective as ever in defense. He’s recorded a minimum of two tackles in each of his past five games, and he even had four blocks in the gutsy 3-2 win over Inter Milan.

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Valverde is one of Real’s most important players right now, and the Valencia midfield will have serious problems against the 22-year-old. With the international break coming up, Valverde should draw a final start and impress before Los Blancos prepare for another tough league side in Villarreal.