La Liga Preview: Real Madrid v Real Valladolid
By Football News
Real Madrid will hope to have Cristiano Ronaldo back for Saturday's La Liga clash with Real Valladolid at the Bernabeu.
The Portugal star missed real's UEFA Champions League clash against Galatasaray on Wednesday with a dead leg, but his absence was not felt as Carlo Ancelotti's side cruised to a 4-1 win despite the dismissal of Sergio Ramos.
Ronaldo remains a doubt for the weekend, while Ancelotti will not be able to call upon Sami Khedira (knee) or Fabio Coentrao (thigh).
Raphael Varane trained away from the first-team squad after the Galatasaray win as he steps up his comeback from a knee complaint.
Madrid scored for a Champions League record 30th consecutive game on Wednesday and will take even more confidence from winning all but one of their games on home soil this term.
Angel di Maria capped his first start since November 2 with a crisp finish from inside the penalty area for Madrid's third against the Turkish side, and is hopeful to have done enough to remain in Ancelotti's thoughts.
The Argentina winger said: "I'm happy because things are more complicated when you're not playing and you want to prove every time you play with the team that you’re there to help.
"We're in form and things are going well for us.
"We have to continue growing as a group. We have a big squad and it works out well whoever plays."
German playmaker Patrick Ebert, who has scored three and assisted another four goals this term, is suspended and therefore unavailable to coach Juan Ignacio Martinez, who will also have to make do without injured midfield duo Oscar Gonzalez and Victor Perez.
Striker Javi Guerra has scored seven goals in 14 outings this term, boosting Valladolid's goal difference and the 30-year-old refused to rule out his side's chances when they travel to the capital this weekend.
"We are going forward, wanting to do so well on a big stage," he told the club's official website.
"We are eager and motivated, we will play without fear and hopefully make Madrid uncomfortable.
"On paper it is clear that they are superior, we know that it will be very difficult, but in football nothing is impossible."
Valladolid last beat Madrid in November 2008, but excitement can be expected with the sides' last six meetings yielding a total of 26 goals.