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22′ This game has so far conformed to the early pattern set in the opening five minutes. Madrid are controlling the game with 72% possession against a deep Valencia team that are looking for any opportunity to pick off the away side on the break.

20′ Benzema industriously tracks back into the midfield and roughly steals it away from Coquelin, before feeding Carvajal on the right-wing who whips in a deep cross that Rodrygo heads straight at a grateful Domenech.

18′ Torres almost gets Valencia the opener! The hosts quickly kickstart a counter-attack as Parejo slips Torres in behind down the left channel, where he drives past Varane before checking back and cushioning a shot straight at Courtois from eight yards! A firmer contact could possibly have seen Torres complete a wonderful solo goal there!

16′ Valencia make a rare foray forward that culminates with Rodrigo having a shot from 18 yards blocked away by Ramos.

14′ Benzema goes close! Madrid neatly work an overlap that allows Nacho plenty of time to pick out a cross into the box where Benzema ghosts in between two defenders to glance a header at goal from six yards, but it drifts agonisingly wide of the far post!

13′ Kroos unleashes a fierce drive that whistles towards the bottom corner, but Domenech looks assured once more and palms it away from goal.

12′ Madrid have started confidently and they’ve dominated the early exchanges. Valencia have retreated into a compact shape out of possession and they look content to allow Madrid to try and break them down, while looking for opportunities to counter-attack.

10′ Modric stabs in a cross that Gabriel can only clear as far as Benzema, but the Frenchman’s volley from just inside the box tamely rolls straight into Domenech’s grasp.

9′ Nacho picks up a loose ball 30 yards from goal and immediately cracks off a wild shot that skews over the bar.

7′ Strong save from Domenech! Valverde and Benzema play a smart one-two on the edge of the area that enables the former to drill a vicious effort at goal that Domenech superbly gets down to and parries away to safety.

5′ Rodrygo wriggles into the home box before tumbling under very little pressure from Costa and the referee calmly waves play on.

4′ If Valencia are to pull off a victory over Madrid today then they’ll need their talisman, Parejo, to be on top form. Parejo has been involved in more LaLiga goals against Real Madrid than any other opponent: 12 goals in 19 appearances, scoring five and assisting seven.

2′ Madrid settle into the game with a long spell of harmless possession in their own half.

1′ Valencia get the first half underway.

The players are emerging from the tunnel and kick off is just seconds away!

Recently, playing away against Valencia has been a notably difficult fixture for Madrid and a victory today will likely need an impressive performance: Valencia have won three of their last five home fixtures against Madrid.

On the other hand, Madrid enjoyed a much less pressurised European fixture in the week, and they make seven changes after defeating Club Brugge. Most notably, Jovic misses out with Benzema returning up top.

Valencia make three changes from the team that grabbed a vital win over Ajax to qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League. They switch from a 4-4-2 into a more cautious 4-1-4-1, with Gameiro dropping out for a defender in Costa, while Diakhaby makes way for Garay.

SUBS: Vinicius Junior, Casemiro, Alvaro Odriozola, Eder Militao, Luka Jovic, Gareth Bale, Alphonse Areola.

REAL MADRID (4-3-3): Thibaut Courtois; Dani Carvajal, Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane, Nacho; Luka Modric, Federico Valverde, Toni Kroos; Rodrygo, Karim Benzema, Isco.

SUBS: Mouctar Diakhaby, Vicente Esquerdo, Manu Vallejo, Geoffrey Kondogbia, Thierry Correia, Cristian Rivero, Ruben Sobrino.

VALENCIA (4-1-4-1): Jaume Domenech; Daniel Wass, Ezequiel Garay, Gabriel Paulista, Jaume Costa; Francis Coquelin; Ferran Torres, Carlos Soler, Daniel Parejo, Jose Gaya; Rodrigo Moreno.

The away side, meanwhile, sit second in the league – in hot pursuit of leaders, Barcelona. They’re also in excellent form – with five wins from six – and they’ll be desperate to secure another three points and apply pressure to Messi and co.

Hello and welcome to live commentary of this La Liga fixture between Valencia and Real Madrid. The hosts enter this one in an underwhelming eighth place; however, they’ve won four out of their last six and will be looking to continue this run with a statement victory over Madrid.


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