Real Madrid vs. Valencia: 3 players who could decide the match

Real Madrid vs. Valencia, Vinicius Junior, Karim Benzema (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Real Madrid vs. Valencia, Vinicius Junior, Karim Benzema (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid is coming off a not-so-eye-pleasing 1-3 win at Alcoy. However, they did complete what they set out for. Their revenge mission was completed and they progressed to the last 16 in the Copa del Rey where they are drawn against a little more favorable Elche side. Yet, Madridistas are not over the disappointment from the Getafe loss that was rightly Real’s worst defeat so far in the season.

To add salt to our existing wounds, Real Madrid didn’t perform very well against Alcoyano either. The third-tier side came out all against us. The side from the capital was massively outplayed. Thanks to an Eder Militao strike against the run of play that helped Los Blancos slowly shift the momentum. Fans would expect a major upgrade in performance against Valencia on the weekend. More so because a lot of first-team stars are expected to join back the starting XI after the Copa trip. Here are the three players that I think can be decisive for this fixture at the Bernabeu.

Real Madrid, Toni Kroos
Real Madrid, Toni Kroos (Photo by Ion Alcoba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

CM Toni Kroos

Toni Kroos has a world-class ability to keep the ball moving and quickly switch play with his long balls. The same has come to Real Madrid’s rescue several times and as far as deciding a game is concerned, Toni Kroos is a doctorate. The German has all the tricks up his sleeve to stretch any opposition out and frustrate them with his pinpoint passing.

Valencia will not be an easy opposition but Jose Bordalas’s side will play an open game. They have been a very attacking side this season and will be expected to leave spaces or passing channels open for Real Madrid’s General to exploit. The reverse fixture was a tight one that lacked creativity until the very end. The major missing was definitely Toni Kroos. If the Karim Benzema-Vinicius Junior magic wouldn’t have worked in the end, we probably would have talked a lot more about Toni Kroos being the big miss for that trip to Mestalla.

His long balls and penetrative passing could have helped Real Madrid by miles and bounds given that Valencia was leaving gaps at the back. This game would be the German’s chance to make up for missing the reverse fixture at the beginning of the season. Kroos’s brilliance could very easily decide this one for Real Madrid.

The shape of midfield was yet a little non-existent in the game against Alcoyano. And against Getafe, Kroos himself dropped an uncharacteristically average performance. He needs to get back to full throttle and shift the momentum in Real Madrid’s favor that seems a little off since the New Year. Poor Toni Kroos couldn’t even get a full game’s rest in the Copa but he’ll still be fresh after that 12-minute cameo at Alcoy. We bag our hopes on the German General yet again.