Ferland Mendy should replace Marcelo while Eden Hazard will start for Real Madrid again when they take on Valencia at the Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium on Thursday.

Real Madrid will be eager to grab all three points and remain within touching distance of Barcelona when they play hosts to Valencia at the Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium on Thursday night. And, Zinedine Zidane does not have any fresh injury concerns on his hands ahead of his side’s latest fixture.

The Real Madrid manager is still bereft of the services of Nacho, Lucas Vazquez, Mariano Diaz and Luka Jovic, although the absence of none of the players poses a great deal of uneasiness ahead of the visit of Valencia. Zidane, though, should make a few changes to his side to keep his players fresh, with games coming thick and fast.

Having said that, there is no replacing Thibaut Courtois in the Real Madrid goal, with Alphonse Areola set to be his deputy once again. In defence, however, there is likely to be one shuffle, with Ferland Mendy coming in for Marcelo.

Marcelo started cramping up in the latter stages of Real Madrid’s 3-1 win over Eibar this past weekend and could be given a rest when Los Blancos take on Valencia. Mendy will be joined in the back-line by Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos and Dani Carvajal, who is fit after overcoming a minor knock.

Midfield, too, is expected to have one change, with Federico Valverde replacing Luka Modric, as the duo’s rotation continues. Valverde will have Casemiro and Toni Kroos for company in the middle of the park, with James Rodriguez and Isco being backup options in the matchday squad.

Eden Hazard made quite an impression in the win over Eibar, producing one of his best displays in a Real Madrid shirt. And, in his pre-match press conference, Zidane was full of praise, admitting that the break has done the former Chelsea star a world of good.

“I’m happy because after a long time out, he [Hazard] was happy to play. This break has allowed him to come back to us and play. That’s good and we know what a player he is. I’m just going to say that we should take advantage of his relationship with Benzema.”Real Madrid

Speaking of Benzema, the star striker was in full flow against Eibar and will continue his tandem in the attack with Hazard against Valencia. The third player in the front trio is likely to be Vinicius Jr. who will replace Rodrygo Goes, while the likes of Gareth Bale, Brahim Diaz and Marco Asensio will be the other fallback options.

Real Madrid Predicted XI: Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Mendy; Valverde, Casemiro, Kroos; Vinicius, Benzema, Hazard

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