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Saturday, January 27, 2018

Francis Coquelin starts at centre-back for Valencia against Real Madrid’s BBC

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Francis Coquelin starts at centre-back for Valencia against Real Madrid’s BBC

For the first time in 280 days, Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo will play together up front for Real Madrid, as they take on La Liga rivals Valencia. 

The trio last started together in April’s El Clasico, when they lost 3-2 at the Santiago Bernabeu.
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Since then, ‘BBC’ have been unable to play together due to Bale and Benzema’s constant injury problems, although they were briefly reunited last week when Benzema came on towards the end of Madrid’s 7-1 thrashing of Deportivo.

Getty Images - Getty 2/3 of BBC[/caption]

And who’ll be faced with the task of stopping the deadly trio?

None other than former Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin. 

🔥 ¡Ya tenemos el XI inicial para este #ValenciaRealMadrid! 🔥 pic.twitter.com/KfGZpG8NrP

— Valencia CF (@valenciacf) January 27, 2018

Valencia’s back-line has taken a bit of a hit in recent weeks, with Gabriel Paulista, Jeison Murillo and Ruben Vezo all out of today’s game through injury or suspension.

So Coquelin comes in as a makeshift centre-back alongside Ezequiel Garay.

Marcelino pretty short on options due to suspension and injury – but starting Coquelin at CB today seems quite risky. Has played there for Arsenal on occasion, but fair to say without much success…

— Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) January 27, 2018

Madrid go into today’s game on the back of Wednesday night’s shock Copa del Rey exit at home to Leganes.

Zidane’s side lost 2-1 to the minnows at the Bernabeu on away goals, leaving just the Champions League as their only realistic hope of silverware this season.

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The title-holders are currently fourth in La Liga, five points behind high-flying Valencia, one point ahead of Villarreal and a massive 19 adrift of table-toppers Barcelona.

Could be a make or break game for Zidane. 

READ MORE:

This is what happens when Real Madrid play in the Europa League next season How Valencia have gone back to the past in search of a brighter future Simone Zaza’s fantastic start to the season with Valencia will make West Ham fans absolutely livid

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