2012/2013 La Liga: Real Madrid v Valencia Preview
Real Madrid defender Pepe picked up an ankle knock while on international duty with Portugal in midweek in the 2-0 win over Panama, but is expected to be fit for the visit of Valencia. Similarly, striker Gonzalo Higuain is fit to play despite sustaining a blow to the head in Argentina’s friendly win over Germany on Wednesday. Valencia could give debuts to three summer signings when they visit the home of the champions on Sunday as Fernando Gago, Joao Pereira and Andres Guardado are all set to feature. Star striker Roberto Soldado is a doubt with a hamstring problem, while goalkeeper Vicente Guaita (thigh) and midfielder Ever Banega (ankle) are both definitely ruled out.
Jose Mourinho: We aren’t looking to beat records, only to be champions. Every season is different and the important thing is always to be ambitious. team has reached a good level and it was the best team in Europe last season. We won the most difficult La Liga with unparalleled figures and a fantastic standard of play. We know what we can do and we are going to try and maintain the levels of play, the team spirit and the levels of ambition. If we do this we will be candidates to win all the competitions.”
Mauricio Pellegrino: “If someone had chosen to play against a team (in their opening game), no one would have liked to play against Valencia. We are a difficult team to beat and tomorrow they will find out that. We are two teams with a lot of international players. They (the players) have to work hard and we have to adapt to the situation, but I think the players will be ready for the match.”