Real Madrid's miserable league form continued with a 0-0 draw at bottom club Osasuna on Saturday but Los Blancos will be hugely boosted by the return of Cristiano Ronaldo from suspension for the visit of Valencia.
The first-choice centre-back pairing of Pepe and Sergio Ramos are still missing though through injury and suspension respectively so Raul Albiol and Raphael Varane are likely to be paired again in central defence.
Karim Benzema and Mesut Ozil should also return after being benched in Pamplona with Luka Modric and Gonzalo Higuain expected to drop to the bench.
Valencia meanwhile got their seventh victory in eight games since Ernesto Valverde took charge as they defeated Sevilla thanks to two Roberto Soldado goals at the weekend and won't go to the Bernabeu with any fear having drawn there on the opening day of the season.
Los Che will be without David Albelda however due to a calf injury and Soldado is also a doubt having not taken part in training on Monday evening.
Should their top-scorer be fit though Jonas will continue from a wider position in the absence of Sofiane Feghouli who is away at the African Nations
With their away form of late being so poor Madrid will want to build up as commanding a lead as they can this evening, but it will be difficult against a Valencia side that have been much harder to break down since Valverde took charge.
Ronaldo though proved the difference in Real's opening two fixtures of the year at home against Real Sociedad and Celta Vigo and his return should provide the hosts with enough firepower to take a first-leg lead.
WhoScored.com provides you with unparalleled football statistics, as well as detailed football previews and football rankings from competitions all over the world. Our live, in-depth football statistics from the
Russian Premier League,
Super Lig and
supplies unique and original insights for football fans, sports betting punters, journalists, football managers and players. We also have football tables, live scores, top performing players as calculated with our unique WhoScored.com ratings, articles, graphics, rankings and much more.