Real Madrid vs. Valencia: 3 things to look forward to on Sunday

Real Madrid, Vinicius Junior (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Vinicius Junior (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Toni Kroos
Real Madrid, Toni Kroos (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

Toni Kroos returns from suspension for Real Madrid

Over the weekend, Toni Kroos was sublime for Real Madrid at Huesca, creating copious chances and controlling the entire pitch as only he can. Kevin de Bruyne has double-digit assists in the Premier League and Kroos’ own teammate Luka Modric has been spellbinding, but Kroos has his own case for being Europe’s best midfielder right now.

The German international can add to that compelling case with a big performance on Matchday 23 against Valencia at home. He will be refreshed after serving a suspension against Getafe for a fifth yellow card in that Huesca victory.

Real Madrid managed to shut down Getafe with a tricky formation, brilliant defending, and arguably even more brilliant attacking from “midfielder” Marcelo. But Kroos is a necessary component to this Real Madrid attack and even defense, with his pressing and ability to control the build-up play out of the back. Controlling the ball is just as much a part of Real’s defensive strategy as the actual defending, after all.

Kroos is an absolute joy to watch on the pitch, and Madridistas can look forward to watching him on Sunday afternoon. I like his chances of dominating Valencia in the middle of the park, even if Valencia decide they need Daniel Wass to shadow him.