Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo scored a brace in Real Madrid's 3-1 win over Real Sociedad in midweekReuters

Gary Neville will pit his wits against an old adversary in Rafael Benítez when Valencia host Real Madrid at the Mestalla on 3 January.

Where to watch live

Kick-off is set for 7.30pm GMT. The game will be broadcast live on Sky Sports 3 HD.

Overview

Gary Neville has endured a tough start as Valencia head coach and suffered his first La Liga defeat at Villarreal in midweek. The Mestalla outfit have won just one of five matches since Neville took over, with the sole victory coming against third-tier side Barakaldo in the Copa del Rey.

Defenders Shkodran Mustafi and José Luis Gayà could return from the respective thigh and groin injuries for the hosts, but Zakaria Bakkali, Diego Alves and Sofiane Feghouli all remain sidelined.

Benítez's position as Real Madrid boss remains precarious, despite a 3-1 win over Real Sociedad in midweek. The capital club are on a three-match winless run against Valencia and were beaten 2-1 in this corresponding fixture last season.

Right-back Dani Carvajal is unlikely to feature at the Mestalla, due to a calf injury, but fellow defender Sergio Ramos could return after missing the Real Sociedad match with a similar problem.

What managers say

Gary Neville: "It is not a final, but it's a big important match, playing against Real Madrid is always an important match. I watched Madrid yesterday, have watched them a lot. We have them coming to Mestalla. Real Madrid have players capable of winning any match, but so have we."

Rafael Benitez: "All the Real Madrid fans should have the certainty and security that we will work to our maximum to get wins. We want to get titles for fans and we will put all our efforts to the end."

Form guide

  • Valencia (all competitions): LDWDL
  • Last result: Villarreal 1-0 Valencia
  • Real Madrid (all competitions): WWLWW
  • Last result: Real Madrid 3-1 Real Sociedad

Betting odds (888sport)

  • Valencia win: 23/5
  • Draw: 18/5
  • Real Madrid win: 6/11

Team news

Valencia possible XI: Domenech; Barragan, Mustafi, Abdennour, Gaya; Gomes, Parejo, Barbosa; Cancelo, Alcacer, Mina

Real Madrid possible XI: Navas; Danilo, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo; Rodriguez, Modric, Kovacic; Bale, Benzema, Ronaldo