Vinicius Junior and Luka Modric will be back in contention to feature when Real Madrid lock horns with Valencia on Saturday.

Real Madrid will resume their La Liga campaign on Saturday when they take on Valencia at the Santiago Bernabeu. The hosts will be keen on securing three points after starting the new year with a shock defeat to Getafe.

Speaking to the media in his pre-match press conference, Carlo Ancelotti stressed the importance of claiming a victory against Valencia and returning to winning ways. Ancelotti is quoted as saying: “We want to play like we did before Christmas, so we’re focused on taking the three points. We’re looking to improve against deep-lying teams by moving the ball around quicker and better. We’ve been watching videos on that because there isn’t much time to work on that in training.”

Real Madrid vs Valencia Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Tactics, Team News & Key Stats

As far as the starting eleven is concerned, Ancelotti confirmed in his presser that Gareth Bale is yet to return to full fitness. “He has a problem with his back and doesn’t feel quite right,” he said. “He can’t give 100 percent and we won’t use him until he can.”

Bale is joined by Mariano Diaz and Luka Jovic in the club’s list of attacking absentees. But on a positive note, Vinicius Junior is back in contention after recovering from COVID-19 infection. He is expected to form the Real Madrid front three alongside Karim Benzema and Rodrygo Goes, with Eden Hazard and Marco Asensio likely to settle for a place on the bench.

“All he’s lacking is some of the confidence he had before,” said Ancelotti when asked about Hazard’s disappointing form. “He is close to his best level and I hope we can see his best performances soon.” The Belgian has yet to score a single goal in any competition this season despite playing 16 matches.

In midfield, Luka Modric was a minor doubt heading into the contest due to coronavirus-related fatigue. But it appears the veteran is back in contention and has been included in the matchday squad. Modric should resume his usual midfield partnership alongside Toni Kroos and Casemiro, at the expense of Federico Valverde and Eduardo Camavinga.

Ancelotti sounded apprehensive when asked about Valverde’s lack of prominence in his first-team plans. “I think Valverde has a role in this team, sometimes more important and sometimes less,” stated the Italian. “I have a lot of confidence in him. I’m not asking him to do more than what he’s doing, because he’s doing well. If he’s not playing as much as he wants, it’s because of the competition with Casemiro, Modric and Kroos.”


Moving to defence, the only major absentee is Dani Carvajal. The right-back has been ruled out after testing positive for COVID-19 and is set to be replaced by Lucas Vazquez. There could be a change at left-back as well, with Marcelo making way for Ferland Mendy. Elsewhere, David Alaba and Eder Militao remain guaranteed starters at the heart of the Real Madrid backline, and they will look to cover Thibaut Courtois in goal.

Predicted Real Madrid XI: Courtois; Vazquez, Militao, Alaba, Mendy; Kroos, Casemiro, Modric; Rodrygo, Benzema, Vinicius

One Response to “Predicted Real Madrid lineup against Valencia: Vinicius, Modric to return; Hazard on the bench”

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  1. Henry says:

    Real madrid 3 valencia 1

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