Real Madrid will continue their La Liga title challenge on Thursday against a Valencia side just off the Europa League places.
Albert Celades’ men are three points behind Atletico Madrid – who currently occupy the last Europa League spot – but face a tall task in taking on Real.
Los Blancos sit two points behind Barcelona and find themselves in their best position to challenge Barça since they last won the title in 2017.
When Is Kick Off? Thursday 18 June
What Time is Kick Off? 21:00 (BST)
Where Is it Played? Alfredo Di Stefano
TV Channel/Live Stream? LaLiga TV (UK), FuboTV (US)
Referee? Jose Sanchez
Zinedine Zidane’s side will still be without Lucas Vázquez and Luka Jović, with both expected to miss Thursday’s game through injury.
Vázquez is carrying a knock and his return date is currently unclear, while out of form striker Jović has been out with a foot injury since May and isn’t expected to return until July.
Ezequiel Garay continues to be out with a cruciate ligament rupture and isn’t expected to return until August. Valencia will also be without Eliaquim Mangala, with the centre back struggling with a hamstring injury. A return date for Mangala is currently unclear.
Real Madrid: Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Valverde, Casemiro, Kroos; Rodrygo, Benzema, Hazard.
Valencia: Cillessen; Florenzi, Guillamon, Diakhaby, Gaya; Soler, Coquelin, Parejo, Guedes; Rodrigo, Gomez.
The two sides have been fairly evenly matched over the last several years, with six draws in their last 14 league games. Real Madrid have managed to win five of those 14, with Valencia the victors on three occasions.
The two sides shared the points in the reverse fixture back in December, when Karim Benzema’s late strike cancelled out Carlos Soler’s opener.
Los Blancos kicked off their La Liga return with a 3-1 win over Eibar on Sunday. Despite an excellent win over Barcelona back in March, Madrid have lost twice in their last five league games, failing to capitalise on their victory over the league leaders.
Valencia have endured a torrid run, with just one win in their last six league games. Los Murcelagos returned to football with a 1-1 draw at home against Levante last week and will need to pick up their form if they hope to climb into the Europa League places.
Here’s how the sides have looked over their last five games.
Real Madrid 3-1 Eibar (14/6)
Real Betis 2-1 Real Madrid (8/3)
Real Madrid 2-0 Barcelona (1/3)
Real Madrid 1-2 Manchester City (26/2)
Levante 1-0 Real Madrid (22/2)
Valencia 1-1 Levante (12/6)
Valencia 3-4 Atalanta (10/3)
Deportivo Alaves 1-1 Valencia (6/3)
Valencia 2-1 Real Betis (29/2)
Real Sociedad 3-0 Valencia (22/2)
Real Madrid’s determination to overthrow Barcelona and take back the La Liga title should be enough to help Los Blancos take down Valencia.
While Valencia will be desperate to make the Europa League, Zidane’s men should have enough about them to see off Los Murcelagos, even if they did look a little fatigued in the second half of their win over Eibar.
Prediction: Real Madrid 3-1 Valencia