Another trophy for the champion

The focus may now be on winning the LaLiga title for a second successive season, but on Sunday night Real Madrid will also be handed the trophy that they officially won over two months ago.

Prior to kick-off on Sunday night a presentation will be made, although a number of the players who contributed to the title win are no longer present at the club.

Pepe, Danilo, Fabio Coentrao, Alvaro Morata and James Rodriguez have all departed and will not be a part of the presentation, whereas new arrivals Marcos Llorente, Dani Ceballos and Theo Hernandez will be.

It will also be the third trophy celebration of the campaign, after the victories in the Supercopa de Espana and the UEFA Super Cup .

These successes and the subsequent celebrations of them do little to harm morale within the first-team and the confidence shows on the pitch.

As much as the trophies are appreciated by supporters, the really important point to take from Real Madrid’s August is just how well the team has settled to the new campaign.

One of the demands Zinedine Zidane made was that his team was in a perfect position to start the season well and, as such, transfer business was done early and we are now seeing a team that is at the very top of their game, with Los Blancos still unbeaten in competitive matches this term.

The visit of Valencia is the last remaining challenge before the international break and it is difficult to envisage anything other than a home victory given their form.

Los Che have the opportunity to crash the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu’s party on Sunday and Los Blancos will have to be on their guard, especially in the face of defensive absences.

Sergio Ramos’ suspension ensures he is unavailable, whilst Raphael Varane failed a fitness test on Saturday and joins Jesus Vallejo on the medical report.

Decisions must be taken over who will partner Nacho Fernandez at the heart of defence, with Casemiro the most likely option.

Valencia themselves arrive buoyed by two new arrivals who are set to make their debuts, with Geoffrey Kondogbia and Jeison Murillo both eligible to play.

Gabriel Paulista is still struggling for fitness after his transfer from Arsenal, given that the Brazilian hasn’t had a full pre-season, so he won’t be part of Sunday night’s festivities.

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