Real Madrid will be looking to return to winning ways in La Liga when they continue their campaign at home to Valencia on Saturday night.
Los Blancos are currently top of the table, five points clear of second-placed Sevilla, while Valencia occupy ninth position, boasting 28 points from their opening 19 matches of the season.
Valencia are more than capable of picking up a positive result at Bernabeu, and we are expecting this to be a very close match in the Spanish capital this weekend. Real Madrid will be desperate to return to winning ways following their loss at Getafe, though, and we are backing a 1-0 home success in this match.
Real Madrid have enjoyed an excellent 2021-22 La Liga campaign to date, boasting a record of 14 wins, four draws and two defeats to collect 46 points, which has left them at the top of the division.
Los Blancos could have been forgiven for thinking that their recent long unbeaten run would have left them fairly clear at the summit, but they are only five points ahead of second-placed Sevilla, who have a game in hand, and it will be fascinating to see whether Julen Lopetegui's side can stay in touch with the leaders.
Real Madrid lost in the league for the first time since the start of October last weekend when they went down 1-0 at Getafe, but Carlo Ancelotti's side managed to return to winning ways in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday, recording a 3-1 victory at Alcoyano to progress to the round of 16.
The capital giants will take on Barcelona in the semi-finals of the Spanish Super Cup on January 12, while the Champions League will also be back next month, with Paris Saint-Germain their opponents in the round of 16.
Real Madrid have been victorious in three of their last four league matches against Valencia, including a 2-1 success when the two teams locked horns in the reverse game at Mestalla back in September.
Valencia, meanwhile, will enter Saturday's contest off the back of a 2-1 victory over Cartagena in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday, but they lost 2-1 at home to Espanyol in the league on December 31.
Los Che have won seven, drawn seven and lost five of their 19 league matches this season to collect 28 points, which has left them in ninth position in the table, just four points behind fourth-placed Atletico Madrid.
Jose Bordalas's side are entering a very tough run of matches in the league, facing Real Madrid, Sevilla, Atletico and Real Sociedad in their next four, and it will be fascinating to see where they are in the table towards the start of February.
Valencia finished 13th in La Liga last season, which proved to be their worst campaign since claiming 14th in 1987-88, but they look capable of challenging for a potential European finish this term.
The six-time Spanish champions have not actually won at Bernabeu in the league since March 2008, which is an indication of the size of their task this weekend, but they did record a 4-1 victory over Los Blancos when the two teams met at Mestalla during the 2020-21 campaign.
Real Madrid will again without Dani Carvajal for this match due to a calf problem, while Luka Jovic is out following a positive COVID-19 test.
Mariano Diaz is also unavailable, having picked up a hamstring injury during Wednesday's Copa del Rey clash, while Gareth Bale is absent, with the Wales international currently struggling with a fitness issue.
There will be wholesale changes from the side that started against Alcoyano, with Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Karim Benzema among those in line to return, while Vinicius Junior is expected to be back in the side, with the Brazil international available once again following a positive COVID-19 test.
As for Valencia, Hugo Duro will miss out through suspension, while Gabriel Paulista, Dimitri Foulquier and Toni Lato are unavailable for selection through injury.
Head coach Bordalas has decisions to make, particularly in the final third of the field, with Maxi Gomez potentially being given the nod alongside Goncalo Guedes in attack.
Denis Cheryshev, Jose Gaya and Omar Alderete will also be among those to return to the side following the Copa del Rey contest with Cartagena on Wednesday afternoon.
Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Courtois; Vazquez, Militao, Alaba, Mendy; Kroos, Casemiro, Modric; Rodrygo, Benzema, Vinicius
Valencia possible starting lineup:
Cillessen; Correia, Diakhaby, Alderete, Gaya; Soler, Guillamon, Wass, Cheryshev; Guedes, Gomez