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Sunday, 8 April 2012

Real Madrid-Valencia

Whites look for fifth straight victory in 15 days

Alberto Navarro / Translation by Michael J. O'Donnell

Real Madrid will look for a fifth straight victory in 15 days in tonight's league clash against Valencia at the Bernabeu (21:30 CET). Valencia are third, lost 3-2 to the Whites at Mestalla Stadium earlier in the campaign, and are playing the Europa League semifinals, proving they will be a tough opponent.

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There are only eight games left in La Liga and Real Madrid still have a six point lead over the runners-up. Four of these games will take place at the Bernabeu against Valencia, Sporting, Sevilla and Mallorca and the crowd will have to play a key role to help the team avoid dropping any crucial points.

Jose Mourinho has included 21 men on his squad list, including Khedira and Arbeloa, who did not play against APOEL. Sergio Ramos is suspended, while Lass and Carvalho have been dropped for coaching decisions. Cristiano Ronaldo has tallied two braces in the team's previous two games and is also serving more assists than ever before at Real Madrid. The Portuguese striker has scored 37 goals in La Liga and is only three shy of last season's record 40.

Valencia's weak streak of one draw and four defeats ended with their impressive 4-0 victory over AZ Alkmaar last week. They will fight hard to stay in third place in La Liga in order to play the Champions League next season. Former Madridista Roberto Soldado has scored 16 goals for them in the league this year. Other former Real Madrid players on the squad are Parejo and Canales.

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