MADRID, Spain (Sporting Alert) — Real Madrid are 30-points clear of third place Valencia in the La Liga table standings, and when the pair meet tonight, the performance on the field could also be that wide of a margin.
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Valencia have struggled in the league in past weeks where they have dropped three of their last five game and they face a Real Madrid side which isn’t short of confidence, despite dropping a few points themselves.
Barcelona have closed the gap on Jose Mourinho’s side to just three points and the leaders will know that anything but a victory here at the Santiago Bernabeu, would only heap more pressure on themselves.
Mourinho has decided to go on the attack from the opening whistle and he has opted to start with both Gonzalo Higuain and Karim Benzema in the forward line.
Kaka, however, is only on the bench, alongside Angel Di Maria, while Mesut Ozil, Cristiano Ronaldo and Sami Khedira all start.
Ricardo Carvalho is still injured, while Sergio Ramos is out suspended.
Valencia manager Unai Emery has left Roberto Soldado on the bench, while Sergio Canales and Miguel are injured.
Real Madrid v Valencia Teams
Real Madrid: Casillas; Arbeloa, Pepe, Albiol, Marcelo; Khedira, Xabi Alonso; Özil, Higuaín, Cristiano Ronaldo; Benzema
Subs: Adan, Coentrao, Varane, Sahin, Kaka, Granero, Callejon, Di Maria.
Valencia: Guaita; Ricardo Costa, Rami, Víctor Ruiz, Jordi Alba; Topal, Tino Costa; Parejo Feghouli, Piatti; Aduriz
Subs: Diego Alves, Maduro, Barragan, Mathieu, Pablo Hernandez, Jonas, Soldado