Valencia, Real Madrid’s bogey team?

Valencia, Real Madrid’s bogey team?

Real Madrid have won just four of their past 12 league games against Valencia and there’s always drama when they meet. Could we be in for a surprise on Thursday?

 


When a league title is on the line, Real Madrid would surely prefer to avoid a match against Valencia. Los Che, as Valencia are often known, have actually been a thorn in Real Madrid’s side time and time again over the years, often causing the capital city club pain in the final weeks of the season.

 

In recent years, that has certainly been the case. In five of the past six seasons, these two teams have met each other down the stretch, during the final 10 matches of the league season, and Valencia have forced Real Madrid to drop expensive points on three of these five occasions.

 

This year, they’ll once again meet in the final 10 matches of the campaign. In what will be these two teams’ second match back following the coronavirus-enforced pause in Spanish football, they’ll go head to head in unfamiliar surroundings for LaLiga fans: the Alfredo Di Stéfano stadium in Real Madrid’s training complex which will host the team for the remainder of the campaign.

 

The overall record between these two teams from their 169 previous LaLiga meetings is 87 Real Madrid wins, 45 Valencia wins and 37 draws. However, in recent years their respective records have squeezed together significantly. Over their past 12 LaLiga meetings, there have been four Real Madrid wins, three Valencia wins and five draws, making for a Real Madrid winning percentage of 33.3% and a Valencia winning percentage of 25%.

 

Recent Real Madrid vs Valencia matches have been some of the most exhilarating sharing of the spoils in recent memory.

 

Of the five draws in their last 12 encounters, four ended 2-2, each with an equaliser in the final 10 minutes. And the only 1-1 draw proved the most dramatic encounter of them all. It came earlier this season at Mestalla, back in December. With Real Madrid trailing to a Carlos Soler goal deep into stoppage time, goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois went up for a corner. The Belgian got his head on the ball, forcing a save from his opposite number which fell to Karim Benzema who fired int the roof of the net. But as euphoric as Zinedine Zidane’s men were, it showed once again that Valencia are a team they often struggle against.

 

Valencia have a strong pedigree of their own. With six LaLiga titles to their name and the current Copa del Rey champions (having beaten Barcelona in the final last season), the side from Spain’s eastern coast are one of LaLiga’s all-time giants. When they go head to head with Real Madrid this Thursday, they’ll rightfully be confident of springing a surprise.

 

 

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