The Gennaro Gattuso era at Valencia came to an end this week after just seven months, leaving Los Che in scramble mode as they prepare for Real Madrid on Thursday.
Sitting 14th but just a point above the relegation zone, Valencia have now gone through four managers in less than three seasons — and a 1-0 loss to Real Valladolid on Sunday means they’ve taken one point from their last four league games.
That makes this an inviting fixture for Real Madrid as they try to keep the pressure on leaders Barcelona — but Los Blancos will need to be more clinical here after a string of costly missed chances in their 0-0 draw against Real Sociedad at the weekend.
Find out more in our free Real Madrid vs Valencia picks and predictions ahead of this February 2 showdown.
Real Madrid vs Valencia best odds
Real Madrid vs Valencia picks and predictions
These are turbulent times for Valencia, with fans protesting after the 3-1 Copa del Rey loss to Athletic Bilbao last week and now yet another managerial change. Nervous months lie ahead as the club tries to avoid an unthinkable relegation.
With Valencia navigating those distractions, the stage is set for Real to cash in. They’ve got the edge on talent, form, and even health, with Aurelien Tchouameni, David Alaba, and Dani Carvajal set to return — and this game could get out of hand in a hurry if the hosts get an early goal.
Yes, Carlo Ancelotti’s side drew a blank against Real Sociedad on the weekend, but it wasn’t for the lack of trying. Los Blancos had 20 shots in that game and ran into an outstanding performance from Sociedad keeper Alex Remiro.
Now they come face-to-face with a Valencia team that have failed to keep a clean sheet in four La Liga outings since the post-World Cup restart, and it’s hard to see the visitors’ defense holding firm at the Bernabeu. I’m counting on Karim Benzema, Vinicius Jr., and the rest of the Real attack to get off to a fast start and show the ruthlessness in the final third that was sorely missing on Sunday.
With a chance to keep the heat on Barcelona at the top of the table, I’m grabbing the plus odds for Real to score in both halves.
My best bet: Real Madrid to score in both halves (+100 at bet365)
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Real Madrid vs Valencia side analysis
The formbook gives a major edge to Real Madrid, who’ve picked up eight victories from their 10 home games in La Liga this season. Los Blancos enter as heavy favorites, especially facing a Valencia side that’s been miserable away from the Mestella (one win in eight league games on their travels).
The hosts will get a boost from a rapidly easing injury list plus an instant spark from Luka Modric, who is in line to return to the starting lineup after a brief substitute cameo over the weekend — and that’s enough to suggest that we won’t see a repeat of the 1-1 draw between these teams in the Supercopa semifinals earlier this month.
If you’re picking Valencia to get a result here, one silver lining from their managerial merry-go-round in recent years is that interim boss Voro Gonzalez is no stranger to stepping in and refocusing the dressing room.
Real Madrid vs Valencia Over/Under analysis
It almost goes without saying that Real’s attacking star power can turn any game into a blowout — and there’s been consistency at the end of the pitch, with the exception of the weekend stalemate. Los Blancos have scored two or more goals in the three games prior to that 0-0 draw.
Benzema and Vinicius Jr. both missed big chances last time out against Real Sociedad, but that duo is too good to let it linger. They’ve combined for 15 goals this season and both found the net in extra-time in the Copa del Rey victory over Atletico Madrid last week. On top of my pick for Real to score in both halves, I also like the value in Over 3.5 goals on Thursday.
The wild card in all of this is how the Valencia players might respond to Gattuso’s exit. Recent results have been ugly, but it’s tough to rule out the visitors as long as they’ve got a poacher like Edinson Cavani and the in-form Justin Kluivert — both have scored three goals since the World Cup break.
Real Madrid vs Valencia game info
|Location:||Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain|
|Date:||Thursday, February 2, 2023|
|Time:||3:00 p.m. ET|
Real Madrid vs Valencia key injuries
Real Madrid: David Alaba CB (Probable), Aurelien Tchouameni CM (Probable), Dani Carvajal RB (Probable), Ferland Mendy LB (Out), Lucas Vazquez ST (Out).
Valencia: Jaume Domenach GK (Out), Nico Gonzalez CM (Out), Thierry Correia RB (Doubtful).
Real Madrid vs Valencia recent form
|Teams||Last five matches|
Real Madrid vs Valencia weather
The forecast calls for clear, dry conditions in Madrid on Thursday, with temperatures in the mid-40s at kick off.