Real Madrid: 3 keys to victory vs. Valencia on Matchday 9

Real Madrid, Vinicius Junior (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Vinicius Junior (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

Real Madrid travel away to Valencia in an interesting matchweek in La Liga with all top four sides facing a team that has a good chance of beating them.

Real Madrid currently sits in second position in the La Liga table, with Real Sociedad sitting above them by just a point. The Whites have a game in hand owing to their late start due to their participation in the Champions League last season. Real Madrid will be hoping to continue their good form in La Liga with a win at Mestalla, with their last win at Mestalla coming in 2018.

For Real Madrid, both Casemiro and Eden Hazard will be out, with the duo having tested positive for COVID-19. This is a blow for Real, especially with Hazard as he looked to be getting into match rhythm and help the team’s offensive issues. Valencia has historically been a tough side to beat especially, at the Mestalla. That being said, Valencia is in a mess right having sold a number of their key players and brought no replacements for them and their results have reflected that.

Los Blancos will be expected to take care of things and win the three points. Here are three keys to victory for Real Madrid vs. Valencia:

Starting with intensity

One of Real Madrid’s issues this season has been how slowly they start games. This habit of Real Madrid to start slowly is what cost them in the Champions League in the first two games. Their performance in the second half is always much better than their performance in the first half. Real have conceded only once in the second half in La Liga this season, which shows how Madrid increase their focus in the second half.

Against Valencia, Los Blancos can’t afford to be lax anytime during the game. Valencia is a team that is always motivated to play against Madrid, and regardless of their troubles this season, they will undoubtedly put in a strong performance. If Madrid doesn’t start with the right intensity, they might end up having to do far too much in the second half and then drop points.

Luka Modric

Luka Modric has been in scintillating form for Real Madrid this season. His appearances off the bench have turned around games for the Whites quite a few times and he has really taken to the super-sub role. But with Fede Valverde having started five games consecutively and Casemiro testing positive for COVID-19, it’s time for Modric to start.

Without Casemiro, all the midfielders will have to work hard extra hard defensively to cover up for the absence of a DM. And if Zinedine Zidane decides to go with a double pivot like vs. Real Sociedad, it will most probably be Modric and one of Kroos/Valverde. With Modric all fresh, there will be an extra onus on him to cover any defensive holes popping up in the midfield.

It’ll be up to Modric to ensure that Madrid dominates the midfield battle.

Vinicius Jr.

Ever since Eden Hazard’s return, Vinicius has been limited to appearances off the bench and has impressed in those appearances. With Hazard out for the game, Vinicius will most probably be back to his starting spot.

Los Blancos will need the Brazilian teenager to be at his best, both at creating chances and finishing any chances that he or his teammates creates if they are to take three points from the Mestalla. Madrid’s offense has been misfiring all season and Vinicius will be key in ensuring that it doesn’t happen vs. Valencia. Vinicius will also have fewer minutes whenever Hazard is fit, and that means he has to take opportunities like these with both hands.

Next. 3 X-Factors to watch for Real Madrid at Valencia. dark

Real Madrid will look to get all three points from the Mestalla and ensure that they remain within touching distance of the first position.