Real Valladolid secured a return to La Liga by finishing second in the Segunda Division last season, and there have been plenty of positives in the opening months of the 2022-23 campaign.
Indeed, a record of five wins, two draws and seven defeats from 14 matches has brought them 17 points, which is enough for 12th position in the table, just two points behind 10th-placed Valencia.
Real Valladolid were last in league action on November 8, suffering a 3-0 loss to Athletic Bilbao, but they have won three of their last five in Spain’s top flight, with the three successes coming at home.
As a result, a win for Real Madrid on Friday would, temporarily at least, move them to the top of the table, and it does appear that it will be a fascinating race for the title during the 2022-23 campaign.
Ancelotti’s team have won 11, drawn two and lost one of their 14 league games this season to collect 35 points, and they could be forgiven for thinking that it would be enough to top the division at this stage.
Real Madrid are also looking to defend their Champions League title this season, with the team set to take on Liverpool in the last-16 stage of the European Cup.
Real Valladolid will be without the services of Jawad El Yamiq, who picked up a hamstring problem while representing Morocco at the 2022 World Cup.
Kenedy is also a doubt with a groin problem, but the home side are otherwise in good shape heading into the encounter with the Spanish and European champions.
Shon Weissman is expected to lead the line for Real Valladolid, with Roque Mesa and Ivan Sanchez potentially featuring in the wide positions.
As for Real Madrid, Luka Modric, Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga are all expected to miss out, as they have had minimum preparation following their involvement in the World Cup.
Mariano Diaz is also a doubt with an ankle problem, but Karim Benzema is fit, and the Frenchman could be joined by Rodrygo and Vinicius Junior in the final third of the field.
The midfield absences could open the door for Dani Ceballos to start alongside Kroos and Federico Valverde, while Antonio Rudiger could be the player to miss out at the back, with Militao set to line up alongside David Alaba in the middle, leaving Ferland Mendy and Dani Carvajal in the full-back positions.
Possible starting lineup:
Data will be available at kick off time or sooner.
Real Valladolid (12.3%)
Real Madrid (70.6%)
Real Valladolid 0-2 Real Madrid
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