With only one win and two attracts of their previous seven matches, Valencia opens the gate of the Estadio Mestalla to Real Madrid. Javi Garcia’s aspect sit in 13th, one place behind Barcelona and three factors from the relegation zone.

It’s been a wierd week for the host, promoting Geoffrey Kondogbia to Atlético Madrid after Diego Simeone’s aspect obtained a particular dispensation to exchange Thomas Partey. The deal was not cordial, with Kondogbia blasting the membership for his or her recruitment philosophy.

On the opposite bench, Actual Madrid comes into this match sizzling off a consecutive wins in opposition to Huesca and Inter Milan. After a sluggish begin, Zinedine Zidane’s aspect is discovering their kind, in addition to the popular beginning XI. Relying on Actual Sociedad’s outcome in opposition to Granada, Los Blancos can leapfrog La Actual and declare the highest spot on the desk.

On this tactical analysis, we’ll study the importance of the wings for every crew’s attacking ways. Actual Madrid’s excessive press is one other subject of consideration, then this evaluation will end with a have a look at what Valencia can do some otherwise to seek out success in opposition to the reigning La Liga champions.

Predicted lineups

La Liga 2020/21: Valencia vs Real Madrid – tactical preview tactics

Valencia’s predicted beginning XI (4-4-2): Jaume Doménech, Daniel Wass, Gabriel Paulista, Hugo Guillamón, José Gayà; Yunus Musah, Carlos Soler, Uroš Račić, Denis Cheryshev; Maxi Gómez, Gonçalo Guedes

Search for Garcia to set Valencia out in his most well-liked 4-4-2 with Doménech in aim. With Correia out, Wass is prone to transfer into the right-back function he performed final season, accompanied on the backline by Paulista, Guillamón and Gayà. From proper to left within the flat midfield, count on the younger American, Musah, Soler, Račić and Cheryshev. Rounding out the formation are Guedes and Gómez up prime.

Actual Madrid’s predicted beginning XI (4-3-3): Thibaut Courtois, Lucas Vázquez, Raphaël Varane, Sergio Ramos, Ferland Mendy; Casemiro, Toni Kroos, Federico Valverde; Marco Asensio, Karim Benzema, Eden Hazard

For Zidane, search for a backline of Vázquez, Varane, Ramos and Mendy. Marcelo might get the beginning at left-back, shifting Mendy to the proper, however the present backline has performed nicely over the previous couple of video games. Search for Zidane to maintain the unit collectively forward of the worldwide window. In midfield, Casemiro will play his regular midfield-destroyer function with Kroos to his left as a regista. Valverde is prone to begin at right-centre midfield, persevering with to mix with Asensio on the right-hand aspect of the pitch. If Hazards health is okay, search for him to play left ahead with Benzema on the #9.

The significance of the wings

The wings are extremely vital to every crew’s attacking tactics. Let’s begin with Actual Madrid. As talked about within the predicted lineups part, Valverde and Asensio are creating a pleasant partnership on the proper aspect of the pitch. Given the chemistry we’ve seen between Benzema and Hazard on the left, Actual Madrid have a pleasant set of pairs they will make the most of excessive up the pitch. With Vázquez and Mendy prone to push greater up the pitch, search for Actual Madrid to overload on the wings earlier than turning their consideration to the central channel.

Within the sequence beneath, we see Actual Madrid working round Huesca’s low block. With the Huesca defence horizontally compact, they typically compelled Actual Madrid to provoke closing third entries into the wings. Right here we have now Marcelo and Hazard working collectively within the left-wing to arrange for the cross into the field. The sequence comes instantly after a nook kick, so that you’ll discover the white shirts and the central channel getting ready for Marcelo’s supply.

La Liga 2020/21: Valencia vs Real Madrid – tactical preview tactics

As soon as Hazard units again to Marcelo, we see the Brazilian use the area given to him to ship his supply.

La Liga 2020/21: Valencia vs Real Madrid – tactical preview tactics

He managed to seek out Ramos on the again submit, however Fernández was in a position to make the save.

La Liga 2020/21: Valencia vs Real Madrid – tactical preview tactics

Valencia comes into this recreation tied for the third most objectives conceded within the league (13), in addition to the second-worst xGA (13.09). Conceding 13.38 photographs per 90 minutes, they allowed the second-most makes an attempt at their aim in La Liga. In distinction, Actual Madrid takes probably the most photographs per 90 minutes with 12.93, is tied for second in objectives (13) and has the perfect xG complete in Spain’s top-flight (13.19).

Whereas Valencia and Actual Madrid are likely to have shut matches on the Estadio Mestalla, the house aspect’s defensive woes will definitely price Garcia a number of hours of sleep, particularly since Actual Madrid remains to be placing up wonderful attacking numbers.

Let’s shift now to Valencia. By way of its attacking development, Valencia ranks fifteenth in La Liga with simply 45.4% possession per recreation. Once they assault, they transfer the ball shortly, seeking to break traces and progress up the sphere earlier than the opponent can construction their defence or get numbers behind the ball.

In open possessions, Valencia will look to attract within the opponents and create a defensive imbalance earlier than shortly transferring up the pitch. By way of their closing third entry, they ranked 18th in La Liga with 14.38 P90 minutes. As they progress, they are going to look to take action on the dribble as a rule. As they enter the ultimate third, search for them to direct the assault to aim slightly than settling for crosses. They enter this match seventeenth in La Liga with 11.88 crosses per 90 minutes.

When Los Murciélagos set up an open possession and their defensive third, search for them to swing the ball throughout the backline, utilizing one of many pivots if wanted, to imbalance Actual Madrid. Within the match in opposition to Getafe, we noticed the outside-backs stay within the place to assist with the buildout. On the whole, Soler would keep deeper than Wass to take part within the first attacking part.

La Liga 2020/21: Valencia vs Real Madrid – tactical preview tactics

As Valencia moved the ball throughout the pitch, the concept was to create numerical superiority in one of many two wings and use the outside-backs as deep-lying playmakers. Within the picture beneath, Correia is unmarked close to the touchline.

La Liga 2020/21: Valencia vs Real Madrid – tactical preview tactics

As soon as the ball is performed again to Correia, Getafe aggressively pursue. That freed Kang-In Lee to obtain the cut up move and progress via the dribble.

La Liga 2020/21: Valencia vs Real Madrid – tactical preview tactics

Of their 4-4-2, Valencia will look to pin again Ramos and Varane, creating alternatives for development via the half areas. Kroos should provide protection for Mendy, whereas Casemiro should do the identical for Vázquez on the proper.

Actual Madrid ought to man-mark in a excessive press

Transitioning out of the defensive aspect of the ball, Real Madrid ought to enter this match with a dedication to a man-marking excessive press. The strategy was extremely profitable in opposition to Valencia final season and the house aspect hasn’t proven that they will play out of an aggressive excessive press this season. Once more, with simply 45.4% possession per recreation, Valencia’s extra involved with fast development than an abundance of possession.

For the season, Valencia has performed the fourth most lengthy passes within the league, sending 396 in complete. The tendency to play lengthy is already there. If Zidane’s males have interaction in a man-marking excessive press slightly than the 4-1-4-1 excessive press that we’ve seen on and off all through the present season, Actual Madrid can rattle the Valencia backline and disconnect them from their assist greater up the pitch.

Since Valencia doesn’t count on to have a lot of the ball anyway, transitional moments might be key for Actual Madrid. If they will deny quick development, ideally forcing Valencia to play damaging, it can no less than purchase time to set their defensive form. When the 2 sides final met, Actual Madrid’s transition defence routinely compelled Valencia to play backwards slightly than instantly enjoying greater targets, simply as we see within the picture beneath.

La Liga 2020/21: Valencia vs Real Madrid – tactical preview tactics

If Actual Madrid can take away the excessive targets, they’ll drive Valencia to play backwards, permitting Los Merengues to commit numbers greater the pitch. Finally, the aim is to drive Doménech and the centre-backs to make the distributions from deep. The nearer to the Valencia aim, the higher.

Under we will see Actual Madrid in that man-marking excessive press. All quick and intermediate targets are lined with the gamers answerable for marking Valencia’s wingers ranging from a extra central place. This not solely protects the center, however it additionally capabilities as a urgent lure. If the keeper needs to attempt to play a 30 or 40-yard diagonal move to a winger, Los Blancos have loads of time to recuperate.

La Liga 2020/21: Valencia vs Real Madrid – tactical preview tactics

Nonetheless, generally, the goalkeeper is not going to take this threat. As an alternative, he opted to play a central lengthy ball.

As you may see within the picture beneath, the Actual Madrid backline is actually at even numbers with Valencia’s highest attackers. This leaves Ramos in a 1v1, a battle that he wins and is ready to poke ahead.

La Liga 2020/21: Valencia vs Real Madrid – tactical preview tactics

Upon successful possession, Actual Madrid now have 5 gamers within the attacking third, three of that are aim aspect of their defender from a deep place. If Actual Madrid comes out in an aggressive man-oriented excessive press, Valencia will unlikely have the flexibility to beat it. The outcome could be center third turnovers, adopted by fast and simple progressions by Los Blancos. If Actual Madrid comes out with a 4-1-4-1 excessive press, Valencia’s double pivot will help them break the preliminary line of stress, permitting them to play within the area between the urgent traces.

Valencia should goal the area between the traces

Talking of the area between the traces, if there’s anybody space of their attacking philosophy that Valencia ought to adapt to this matchup, it’s an emphasis to play between Actual Madrid’s traces. Whereas Zidane’s aspect has proven enhancements in current matchups, their press remains to be figuring out some points. Though they charge tied for third in goals-against, conceding solely 5 thus far this season, they’re eighth in xGA with a mark of 8.13, a slightly poor complete on condition that they’ve performed fewer video games than a lot of the league.

As talked about, the 4-1-4-1 excessive press has prompted points for Actual Madrid. With the 5 highest gamers unable to adequately press the ball and deny development, Casemiro has been caught drifting greater up the pitch. As he strikes greater, the hole between the urgent traces widens significantly, providing a straightforward out to the opposition.

The extra problem is that the 2 centre-backs are left with no safety in entrance of them. Very like in Zidane’s hole 12 months, the result’s that Ramos is pushing too excessive into the midfield, leaving gaps behind him.

If Valencia can pull Casemiro away from the centre-backs and drive Ramos into the midfield, they will open up that half area for development via the dribble. Although I count on Guedes to begin on the left-hand aspect, he and Gómez would do nicely to modify periodically. Given the tempo of the Portuguese, he might mix with Musah to get behind Ramos and Mendy.

Borussia Mönchengladbach was in a position to goal the area between the traces in opposition to Actual Madrid. Within the sequence beneath, we do discover the Spanish aspect engaged in a man-marking excessive press. Asensio’s poor defensive work permits Mönchengladbach to play the ball up the pitch, successfully breaking the primary two traces of stress. Discover the open area within the central channel.

La Liga 2020/21: Valencia vs Real Madrid – tactical preview tactics

As Mönchengladbach play into the excessive goal, a fast sequence of passes sees them get behind the Actual Madrid backline.

La Liga 2020/21: Valencia vs Real Madrid – tactical preview tactics

Although the backline was in a position to recuperate, it’s the buildup going into the via move that’s disconcerting. Ramos and Varane are left 2v3 in opposition to the Mönchengladbach assault. If the press is working nicely, you’ll discover Casemiro simply in entrance of Ramos and Varane, taking away the entry move to the oppositions #10. When the excessive press is poorly constructed and Casemiro strikes too excessive in assist of the forwards and his fellow midfielders, large gaps emerge between the Actual Madrid traces. That’s the area Valencia must assault.

It can definitely be simpler to assault that area between the traces when Actual Madrid is engaged within the excessive press versus a center block. Nonetheless, if Casemiro switches with one in all his teammates, even the center block will provide area between the traces.

Within the picture beneath, Asensio is protecting for Vázquez on the proper, however the latter reveals no want to tackle Casemiro’s obligations. He’s shifted over to the right-hand aspect, seeking to recuperate to his right-back place. The problem is that Actual Madrid then have nobody between the traces. With Casemiro entering into the road of 4 midfielders, nobody has totally stepped into his function.

La Liga 2020/21: Valencia vs Real Madrid – tactical preview tactics

If there’s an space of the Actual Madrid defence that has seemed shaky this season, it’s of their incapability to guard the area between the traces. If Casemiro isn’t doing it, then no one is. That then forces Ramos to maneuver greater of the pitch, leaving him out of place and forcing Varane to cowl much more floor than he ought to. By inverting the extensive midfielders, Valencia can make the most of this area, pull Ramos out of place and keep throughout the extra direct attacking ways that they like.


If this analysis reveals something, it’s that each side have struggled to seek out their kind within the early phases of the season. Actual Madrid has seemed higher in current matches, however they nonetheless haven’t managed a clear sheet up to now six video games. Alternatives abound, however, if the excessive press is working, I’m simply unsure Valencia has the flexibility to interrupt via. Given Valencia’s defensive woes, Actual Madrid will look to pile on the stress early within the recreation to seize an early aim and drive Valencia out of the low block. Even inside that low block, count on loads of photographs and goal-scoring alternatives for Los Blancos.

For Valencia, defensive solidarity is the important thing. They don’t have the firepower to match up with Actual Madrid, so that they’ll want a robust group effort to beat the opponent. The mixture of a low charge of possession plus the excessive variety of photographs conceded per recreation is definitely troublesome. On condition that Actual Madrid comes into this match averaging probably the most possession and photographs within the league, this might be a recipe for catastrophe for the house aspect.

Although matches at La Mestalla are usually shut, I’m predicting a 3-0 Actual Madrid win, even regardless of the inconsistencies they’re working via.

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