Real Madrid will continue their La Liga campaign on Friday as they face Real Valladolid at Jose Zorrilla Stadium. The defending champions are second in La Liga with 35 points from 14 matches, while Valladolid sits in the 13th position with 17 points from the same number of matches.
Real Madrid’s slip-ups against Girona and Real Vallecano cost them the top spot in the league. They now trail league leaders Barcelona by two points. They scored 33 goals and conceded 14 this season. Los Blancos, along with archrival Barcelona, have the highest number of goals in the league. Carlo Ancelotti will be urging his team to start the second half of the season in good form.
On the other hand, Real Valladolid is in the 13th position with 17 points from 14 matches. They have scored only 13 goals while conceding 21 with 17 points from 14 matches. Manager Pacheta will be concerned about this. They will be hoping to turn their season in their favour as they welcome the defending champions onto their turf.
We look at some stats that could predict the match’s outcome.
How the teams have performed
The above visual shows the percentile rank of both Real Valladolid and Real Madrid compared to other teams in La Liga. Real Madrid have had a convincing season so far, with just one defeat in 14 matches. They have found goals whenever necessary, even in the absence of Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema. The Frenchman has recovered from injury and will be raring to go again. As we can observe from the visual, they have great attacking and passing stats and will be looking to keep it that way on Friday as well.
While Real Valladolid have had a mixed season with five wins and seven losses. They are a team that presses high and tries to recover possession in the attacking half. However, we can observe that they have found it difficult to score goals and have conceded eight goals more than they have scored.
Both Real Valladolid and Real Madrid like to depend on both positional play and counter-attacks. As the two visuals above suggest, they are in the top five on the list for positional attacks and the top six for counter-attacks. They both have quick players who can create chances out of nowhere. Real Valladolid launches an average of 23.93 positional attacks, with 28.4% of them leading to shots, while Real Madrid launches an average of 33.64 positional attacks, with 28.7% of them leading to shots. They are the most efficient team in the league when it comes to positional attacks.
As for counter-attacks, the hosts launch an average of 1.57 counter-attacks, with 40.7% of them leading to shots. On the other hand, Real Madrid launches an average of 3.36 counter-attacks per game, with 36% of them leading to shots. Valladolid will be aware of the threat Real Madrid poses on counterattacks and will be looking to stop them.
Difference in pressing
The above visual shows the pressing efficiency of different teams in La Liga. As we can see from the visual, the hosts are third on the list with 52% efficiency and are ranked in the top 90.4 percentile for high press success rate. This helps them recover the ball in the attacking half. Real Madrid sits a bit lower on the list with a 40% efficiency in pressing. They are not that consistent in pressing and implement a mixed style of laid-back defence and pressing. But even with less efficiency in pressing, Real Madrid finds a way to recover the ball in the attacking half, as the visual below suggests. The hosts make an average of 76.64 recoveries per game, whereas Real Madrid makes an average of 74.93 recoveries per game.
With five goals to his name in La Liga, Sergio Leon is Valladolid’s main weapon. The 33-year-old, who moved from Levante last season, has had a good season so far and is their leading scorer. He has attempted 13 shots this season, with ten on target. Real Madrid will be looking to stop him from finding the back of the net.
Vinicius Jr. is responsible for the majority of Real Madrid’s counterattacks. The dashing Brazilian is unstoppable on his day and can create a threat with his speed, dribbling, and goal contributions. Coming off the back of a good World Cup campaign, Vinicius Jr. will be looking to end the year in style. If Valladolid wants to have a good start to the second half of the season, they should stop Vinicius Jr.
Real Valladolid will, most likely, miss the services of Jawad El Yamiq and Kenedy, both of whom have picked up injuries. Other than the two, their squad looks fit and ready to go.
On the other hand, the visitors will be happy with the return of Karim Benzema. It would be interesting to see if Ancelotti gives rest to the World Cup finalists and semifinalists. Even if he does, Madrid have enough squad depth to hurt Valladolid.
The defending champions will be looking to end a fantastic year for them on a high note, whereas the hosts will be looking for their sixth win of the season. If Real Madrid manages to play to their strengths, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them walk away with three points. But as football has often shown us, anything can happen on the matchday, and Real Valladolid is more than capable of pulling off an upset.
Visuals via TFA data viz engine