The Spanish giants have struggled against top competition this season, suffering losses to Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in league play, as well as a draw against Villarreal. However, they are perfect against clubs outside of the top four.
That will create a challenge for Valladolid, who sit 17th in the table and only have one road win all season. On the other hand, they have six draws on the year, which is the most in the league. They certainly know how to play tough and scrap their way to points.
This certainly will make things interesting heading into the tough La Liga battle.
Who will win?
When: Saturday, Nov. 30 at 2 p.m. ET/7 p.m. GMT
Where: Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain
Watch: beIN Sport
Live Stream: beIN Sport Play
Odds (via SkyBet): Real Madrid (1-8), Real Valladolid (16-1), Draw (8-1)
Top Storyline: Can Anyone Slow Down Real Madrid's Offense?
However, the previous match showed that the club is just fine without him. They scored four goals in the win, including this incredible free-kick from Gareth Bale from 35 yards out:
The attack is playing extremely well as Bale, Isco, Karim Benzema and Angel Di Maria are all in top form and learning how to compete together. Adding Ronaldo—arguably the best scorer in the world—into the lineup is almost unfair.
Only three times this season have Real Madrid been held to fewer than two goals and two of those resulted in losses. Valladolid know what they have to do, but they simply might not have the ability to do it.
Prediction: Real Madrid 4, Real Valladolid 1
Whether or not Ronaldo plays, the Madrid attack is simply too good to stop. Valladolid defenders Marc Valiente and Jesus Rueda have been incredibly solid in the center of the defense all season, but they have not seen this much of a challenge all year.
Almost everyone on the pitch for Madrid can score from distance, which creates the need to be aggressive against the man with the ball at all times. This leads to some more openings with quality passing and the home club will get on to the scoresheet quite a few times.
Of course, Madrid's defense has still been a problem this season. The squad has only one clean sheet in the last eight matches while opponents are getting strong opportunities deep into the defensive zone.
One can expect Javi Guerra and Marc Valiente to move the ball well enough to get at least one goal.
Unfortunately, this will not be enough as Real Madrid inch closer to the top of the league table.
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