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Image for Greg Lea Greg Lea - Updated February 1, 2023

Real Madrid vs Valencia: La Liga Champions Eye Return to Winning Ways

  • Real Madrid have been knocked off the top spot in La Liga after a downturn in form

  • Worryingly, Valencia are beginning to look over their shoulder at the relegation zone

  • Real Madrid cannot afford to let Barcelona get too far ahead at the top of the table

Real Madrid vs Valencia Odds

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Spread (Regular Time Betting)


Real Madrid -1.5 



Valencia +1.5



Real Madrid vs Valencia Pick

Valencia have been struggling of late and this is another tough assignment.

Back Real Madrid with a -1.5 spread - in effect, a win for the home team by at least a two-goal margin. (+100)



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Real Madrid vs Valencia Prediction

Real Madrid vs Valencia Predictions

Real Madrid Must Recapture Focus in Two-Way Title Tussle

Real Madrid came flying out of the blocks at the start of this La Liga season. Ten wins and a draw in their first 11 games saw Carlo Ancelotti’s side take 31 points from the first 33 available. The problem was that Barcelona were never too far behind their arch-rivals, despite a 3-1 defeat in the first Clasico of the campaign.

As such, when Madrid’s form started to stutter Barcelona were well-placed to take full advantage. On either side of World Cup 2022, the champions went through a run where they won just two of five matches, culminating in a 2-1 defeat by Villarreal before the Supercopa de Espana last month.

Madrid were then beaten by Barcelona in the final of that competition, and although they bounced back to beat Athletic Bilbao 2-0 in the Basque country, they were held to a 0-0 draw by Real Sociedad last time out. 

At the time of writing, then, Madrid are five points adrift of Barcelona in the top spot. But things may well be worse by the time their match against Valencia kicks off: Xavi Hernandez’s men have the chance to move eight points clear by beating Real Betis on Wednesday. 

That would put pressure on Madrid to respond since more dropped points would hand Barcelona a major advantage in the title race. The best online sportsbooks already have the Blaugrana down as favorites, but there is still a long way to go.

Three victories in their last seven matches is a poor record for Madrid, but they have the quality to turn things around and go on a long winning run. The Blancos must first recapture their focus and they should not fall into the trap of thinking too far ahead. Given their track record down the years, no one should write Madrid off.

New Manager in Situ as Valencia Get Rid of Gennaro Gattuso

Valencia have seldom embraced the quiet life over the last decade or so. It feels like los Che are no longer able to go through an entire season without some sort of drama, on or off the field (usually both).

Much of that is down to the unpopular ownership of Peter Lim, who has never really won over the fan base. Things were at least starting to look up earlier this term. Valencia were patently a work in progress, but there were plenty of positives to take from the first few months of Gennaro Gattuso’s tenure.

Indeed, despite three losses in their first eight games, Valencia sat seventh in the standings in the middle of October. It looked like they might be able to mount a challenge for the Europa League, or at a minimum the Europa Conference League. Gattuso’s demands for a team that works hard seemed to initially win the fans over.

Yet fast forward a few months and the Italian finds himself out of a job following a downturn in form that has left European soccer far from the minds of Valencia followers. After a run of just one win in his team’s last 10 matches in the league, Gattuso was sacked on Monday.

Voro has been handed the reins on a caretaker basis. It is a role he knows well: this is the eighth time the club legend has been called upon to lead the side on a temporary basis. He inherits a team that is just one point above the La Liga relegation zone going into this tricky clash with Real Madrid.

Tough Start for Voro With Real Madrid Likely to Come Out on Top

No manager would ever write off a game, but given the identity of Valencia’s opponents and the lack of preparation time, Voro has probably braced himself for a defeat on Thursday. More important matches lie ahead, not least a trip to Girona this weekend.

This match is something of a free hit for los Che, but the likelihood is that it will end in yet more disappointment. Valencia are low on confidence after slipping down the standings and Real Madrid should take full advantage as they strive to remain within touching distance of Barcelona in the first place.

Of Madrid’s 13 victories this term, eight have been by at least a two-goal margin. Ancelotti will encourage his players to make a fast start in this one and Valencia’s fragile self-belief could allow the Blancos to open up a healthy lead if they can make an early breakthrough.

Valencia have lacked resolve of late and that is an issue for a team about to visit the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. Back Madrid with a -1.5 handicap.

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How to Watch Real Madrid vs Valencia

  • Teams: Real Madrid vs Valencia

  • Location: Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain

  • Time: Thursday 2 February 2023, 3:00 PM, EST

  • How to Watch: ESPN+

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Image for Greg Lea


Greg Lea

771 Articles

Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]

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