Friday, April 22, 2011

Valencia - Real Madrid

Real Madrid return to La Liga action on Saturday by visiting Mestalla, the same stadium that crowned them Copa del Rey champions only three days ago. Mourinho and company hope to bring home a win that will keep them alive in the race for the league title, while Valencia look for a firmer grasp on third place in the table.

Real Madrid will be playing their seventh game this month with two more on the horizon; one in Champions League action against Barcelona and a league showdown versus Zaragoza. But before hosting Barça next week, the Whites are seeking their 12th La Liga road win this season.

Twenty players were tabbed for duty against Valencia. Castilla's Juanfran and Nacho Fernandez. join Granero, Lass, Canales and Pedro Leon, none of whom were active last weekend. Raul Albiol also returns after serving a one-match suspension, but Arbeloa must now sit out to serve his ban. Khedira, Di Maria, Gago and Adebayor are unavailable due to injury and Sergio Ramos was left off the squad list by Mourinho.

Valencia are currently third in the table and want to lock up a berth in next season's Champions League as quickly as possible. Unai Emery's men are riding a three-game winning streak with 12 goals scored and only two conceded. Eighteen players will suit up for Los Che, who are without the injured Bruno Saltor and Tino Costa.

Real Madrid hold the upper hand having won 79 of the 151 all-time meetings in La Liga. Valencia have won 42 times and the teams have played to 30 draws. The Whites have also outscored Saturday's hosts 272-182.

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