La Liga will return on Thursday, but the top two teams and soccer betting favorites to win the title won’t play until Friday and Saturday, starting with Real Madrid paying a visit to Real Valladolid, a team Los Blancos haven’t lost to since the 2008-09 season. A victory could boost Karim Benzema and company to first place, but they would also need Espanyol to defeat Barcelona at Camp Nou.
Real Valladolid: Determined to Bounce Back
Real Valladolid is currently sitting in twelfth place with 17 points. Regarding La Liga, Los Albivioletas lost their last game 3-0 to Athletic Club on Dec. 6. No other team in the top 12 has allowed more goals than Valladolid, so if they want to get back to the winning column, the defense must improve as soon as possible.
It already did last week in the second round of the Copa del Rey, in which Los Albivioletas defeated Arenas 5-1. They also won possession with 63 percent and finished with 12 shots on target, nine more than Arenas.
As if that wasn’t enough, all five goals were scored by different players: Sergio Escudero, Shon Weissman, Ivan Sanchez, Kike Perez, and Sergio Leon. Not depending on a particular player to score is huge for them, especially when you’re about to face one of the best defensive units in La Liga.
Los Albivioletas come in as the betting online underdogs at +550. Considering they’ve been way better when playing at home (4-1-2 vs. 1-1-5 on the road), that’s a very tempting deal.
Real Madrid: Ready to Rumble
Unlike Real Valladolid, Real Madrid didn’t play in the Copa del Rey last week. Therefore, Los Blancos’ last official match was on Nov. 10 against Cadiz, a game they ended up winning 2-1 with Eder Militao and Toni Kroos as the scorers.
Prior to that, they visited Rayo Vallecano and lost 3-2. That was their first loss of the season and the reason why they currently sit in second place, two points behind Barcelona.
The best news for the visitors, who are offering a -215 price in the sportsbook to win straight up, is that Karim Benzema will be back after a long absence due to injury. The Frenchman recently announced his retirement from the national team to fully focus on club activities. Los Blancos are the top-scoring team in La Liga, alongside Barcelona, with 33 goals. Benzema’s return should help break the tie.
More good news: Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo, and Militao, who represented Brazil in the 2022 World Cup, will also be available after rejoining training on Monday. On the other hand, Luka Modric, Eduardo Camavinga, and Aurelien Tchouameni aren’t expected to play. The three of them are enjoying a well-deserved vacation after advancing to the WC Semifinals and Final.
Real Valladolid vs Real Madrid Head-to-Head
- Previous Matches: 23
- Real Valladolid Victories: 9 (28 goals)
- Real Madrid Victories: 10 (35 goals)
- Draws: 4
These two met for the last time, twice, in the 2020-21 season. Real Madrid won both games 1-0, with Vinicius Junior and Casemiro as the scorers. Real Valladolid failed to score in their last three games against Los Blancos.
As mentioned, Los Albivioletas haven’t defeated Real Madrid since the 2008-09 season. The best result in their last 10 encounters was a 1-1, which happened twice. However, they’ve always put up a good fight, which is reflected in the fact that the total has gone under in six of their last 10 meetings.
Real Valladolid vs Real Madrid Match Information
- Match: Real Valladolid vs Real Madrid
- Date: Friday, Dec. 30
- Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
- Location: Estadio Jose Zorrilla, Valladolid
- Real Valladolid vs Real Madrid Live Stream: fuboTV
Real Valladolid vs Real Madrid Betting Lines
Real Valladolid vs Real Madrid Picks & Prediction
No room for a stunner here. Even with Modric, Tchouameni, and Camavinga out, Real Madrid deserves to be heavily favored and included in your soccer picks. Benzema is eager to reclaim his throne as the best No. 9 in the world and Los Blancos simply can’t afford to lose, at least not if they want to remain in the title race. Espanyol won’t beat Barcelona.