Real Madrid: 3 X-Factors to watch at Valencia on Sunday

Real Madrid (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Real Madrid (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

Which players could make the difference for Real Madrid at Valencia?

Real Madrid will visit Valencia on Sunday in the last league game before the November International Break. Real Madrid has a strong start to their league season with five victories off seven games and will try to continue their good run of form since the game against Cadiz at Mestalla. Real Madrid will be without Eden Hazard and Carlos Casemiro as both tested positive for COVID-19.

Valencia has just two wins in their eight games they have played so far and has now lost one of their best players Geoffrey Kondogbia to Atletico Madrid. Real Madrid knows a trip to Mestalla is always complicated and they will have to grind hard to get all three points. Here are three players who can turn out to be X-Factors for the trip to Mestalla.

Rodrygo Goes

Rodrygo Goes has been an impact substitute so far this season and has owned the right-wing position every time coming off the bench. He proved that again on Tuesday against Inter, as he scored the winning goal from a Vinicius Jr assist. Marco Asensio has been decent but hasn’t been contributing directly in the attack and Lucas Vazquez as a right-back has outshone him in offensive positions at times.

Rodrygo deserves a start after his great performances off the bench and Valencia might be the game where he gets the chance. Rodrygo has provided three assists so far this season one in El Clasico and a goal in the Champions League. Rodrygo may very well get a start at Mestalla against the weakest Valencia side on paper in the last decade. It will be great to see the Brazilian continuing his great run of form and keep racking up more goals or assists.

Martin Odegaard

Martin Odegaard is finally back from his injury and Zinedine Zidane will have all his six midfielders fit and raring to go. Zidane put trust in Odegaard during the first few games giving him starts as the Frenchman is trying to find solutions upfront.

Odegaard’s ability to thread passes into the final third can help Real Madrid in creating direct chances from the middle rather than relying on crosses. Zidane will try his hand with Odegaard again to find the creative spark up front and Odegaard’s abilities to pick out the final pass will help Los Blancos a lot.

Real Madrid has been missing the final ball upfront especially as most of the teams play a deep block against them. Odegaard can be a key to unlock such defenses, especially against a team like Cadiz where we failed to create meaningful chances. I expect Odegaard to get some minutes at Mestalla as Zidane may look to make some rotations after a grueling contest with Inter Milan.

Luka Modric

Luka Modric refuses to age, he is still playing at a very high level even at 35 years of age, the Croat hasn’t missed a beat. Zidane is using Luka as an impact sub and it has paid so far. Luka Modric has changed the game for Los Blancos several times coming off the bench and the team looks more fluid in the attack with him on the pitch. He is shooting much more since Zidane took over last season and it has paid dividends for the Frenchman.

Next. 3 potential MOTM candidates for Real Madrid at Valencia. dark

Luka Modric may get a start at Mestalla as Zidane will rotate the squad after to give key players some rest. Casemiro out due to COVID, most likely we will see Modric, Toni Kroos, and Fede Valverde in midfield. Real Madrid would be confident of getting three more points at Mestalla to maintain their strong start to the season and Modric will be key to that.