El Centrocampista

JUDGEMENT DAY – Can Valencia see off Mourinho’s men?

By Archie Buck

Despite Levante’s early season heroics, the top of la liga has begun to take a familiar shape with the the Barcelona and Real Madrid duopoly closely followed by Unai Emery’s Valencia.

This year looks like it could be the toughest test yet for reigning champions, Barcelona, with a much-improved Madrid setting the pace and los che looking far-better than many expected.

This weekend the two teams meet in what promises to be a scintillating encounter at the Mestalla.

Valencia continue to impress in La Liga. They sit comfortably third and Mourinho’s men are the only “top” team they are yet to face. Their new signings have bedded in, and after a great win against Bayer Leverkusen it looks like they will advance to the Champions League knockout stage.

They are the long outsiders for the league but that is probably to their liking. They continue to win week in week out and have done a good job of clinging onto the top two. Saturday is different, they have a chance to make a statement of intent.

A win would announce themselves as genuine contenders and put them just a point behind Madrid.

The visitors however, currently occupy top spot and are looking every bit the potential champions elect. 10 wins on the bounce have seen los blancos pull out a slender, yet significant, three point gap over rivals Barcelona.

Apart from a minor slip up at Levante they have had an almost a perfect season so far. Matching success domestically and in Europe with some scintillating football.

Last time out they smashed seven past the hapless Osasuna.

With two clásicos still to come for Madrid it is wrong to say that this is a must win game, however it would set down a marker. Valencia look comfortably the third best team in the league, Barcelona drew 2-2 at the Mestalla so a win would be two points gained.

Although Emery’s team have looked good in the league they have not been particularly clinical. Often dominating games but failing to capitalise on opportunities.

They have only scored more than one goal in a game on five occasions this season. They are likely to spend long periods on the backfoot on the weekend and it is vital that if the chances come that they find the back of the net.

Real Madrid have averaged 3.2 goals per game in their last 15 competitive encounters, whereas Valencia have managed just 1.5.

If last season’s match is anything to go by however, goals seem to be guaranteed,  that fixture was a nine goal thriller, won by the Madrid side 6-3.

Madrid youth product Roberto Soldado has not forgotten that heavy defeat, and has been vocal in calling for revenge in Marca this week. A lot will depend on him if truth be told. Valencia have the quality to produce chances for him, he will need to make sure he takes them.

It was be a tough task for his side however, as there is no getting away from the fact that Real Madrid have looked unstoppable this season.

Everything seems to be clicking and they have got off to a lightning start. Top of the table and with the best goal difference it is hard to see past them walking away with three points.

It is a  game that has the potential to be the perfect advert for La Liga. Two teams that are more than happy to attack will do battle. It is greedy to expect a game like last season but it should still be hugely enjoyable.


Madrid have to be considered the favourites, but if Valencia can spring a surprise, who knows where it will take them…




  1. Clay

    16 November, 2011 at 20:24

    It should be an interesting match, Valencia are playing well and managed to hold barça at the mestalla. Madrid on the other hand are a steam roller. This fits because a season is very complicated and you never know what can happen. The key for both would be making sure that they take opportunities as they come. Hopefully, the two headed beasts that is Ramos-Pepe at CB would keep a cool head and no Mourinho mischief. I think unless something goes terribly wrong, Madrid should win. It won’t be easy, Valencia would fight tooth and nail.

  2. Pingback: One wrong word and it's judgment day

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Follow us and get La Liga news right in your feed!

Already a fan?