The 5-0 drubbing earlier in the week meant Los Blancos lost their primed berth at the top of the La Liga summit, a result which ended the Capital based club’s unbeaten stretch halting the Santiago Bernabeu outfits close grip on their Catalan adversaries.
This weekend’s opponents, have been a sleeping giant in recent times but new Valencia Coach Unai Emery has built a well organised, disciplined and functional outfit, despite a summer of strenuous financial turmoil. Valencia are looking for their club to reach the heavy heights of the middle part of the last decade when Valencia triumphed at home and in Europe. They could stake a legitimate claim for being the best of the rest in Spanish footballs top tier if they can salvage a positive result from the Bernabeu on Saturday.
All eyes will be on how Los Blancos will react in the aftermath of a post match Clasico defeat which has asserted immediate pressure on Mourinho and his team, even after a faultless start to the season. Madrid’s hardened press have upped the ante ahead of the Whites home clash, but news from the clubs Valdebebas training base suggests Los Blancos do not move into the match boasting a relative clean bill of health.
With concerns over the fitness of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain (who has a lumbar herniated disc injury which could potentially see the Argentine needing an operation) going into the match, in addition to suspensions for defensive duo Sergio Ramos and Ricardo Carvalho, Los Che will be looking to further damage a wounded Madrid, who of late have not been used to the taste of defeat.
Mourinho, possessing typical style and bragging usual calm in his pre-match press briefing before the Valencia fixture emphasised the word ‘attitude’ with conviction depicting what his players need to do to fall straight back on track in what has been an impressive campaign, bar one result. The ex-Inter Milan Coach has installed belief, determination and an inner steel in Madrid. These attributes have evaded the club in previous years, but Valencia will indeed fight the validity of Los Blancos’ characteristics come Saturday.
The home side will need to demonstrate and prolong their superb Bernabeu account this season, but expect a poignant challenge from the Mestalla side as they themselves are committed to overhauling the teams placed a few notches above them.