Valencia v Real Madrid – Saturday 23 April – Mestalla (18:00)
The Spanish La Liga has now hit the home straight as there are only 6 more fixtures left till the finale. Once again Barcelona has set the pace and the likes of Real Madrid and Valencia are playing catch up.
Valencia have managed to keep the pace with the two front runners as they sit comfortably in 3rd place. They had a dismal start to the season as they were hit by an injury crisis, losing key players such as Roberto Soldado and Juan Mata. Valencia had a lot of critics when they lost the likes of David Villa and David Silva, most of their fans wrote them off in having a successful campaign. Manager Unai Emery snapped up out of favour Real Madrid striker Roberto Soldado and once the Spanish international shook off his injury he proved to be a blessing in disguise as he took little time to find his feet at Valencia. He has notched up 13 goals thus far and has played a vital part in shooting Valencia up the table. With the likes of Ever Banega, Pablo Hernández and Juan Mata adding that spark of creativity in the middle of the park it’s no wonder Valencia have got their season back on track and the manager will do everything in his power to keep his key players fit and go one step better than last season and finish in the top two as they ended 3rd last campaign.
Real Madrid and manager José Mourinho are still in contention for a treble winning season, as they do battle against their fierce rivals in all 3 competitions. They were drawn against Barcelona in the Uefa Champions league semi-final, the Final of the Spanish “Copa Del Rey” Cup and face a real uphill battle to pip their rivals to the league title as they trail Barcelona by 8 points. If there is one man that can produce miracles and get the best
fighting spirit out of his players, it has to be “The Special One”, José Mourinho. When the Portuguese manager arrived at Real Madrid he promised to win either the league or Champions League and one can expect Los Galácticos fans will be looking for him to produce on his promises. There is no doubting the ability of this Real Madrid squad and the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and new edition to the squad Emmanuel Adebayor leading the striking force, goals aplenty are expected. One thing is for sure José Mourinho will expect his team to rally till the finale of the season and make things difficult for Barcelona.
This will be a highly anticipated encounter as both teams are in need of the maximum points. Real Madrid have more at stake as they continue to chase Barcelona and this should give them the edge in this tie. Real Madrid are tipped for the win.