Valencia aim to secure Champions League spot against AlavesMarch 17, 2018
The last time Valencia and Alaves met in the league back in October, Los Che won the clash 2-1 to take them just behind leaders Barcelona.
Fast forward several months and Valencia are now in fourth place, 16 points off the top. But, Valencia seems to have picked back up their form in recent matches and are unbeaten in the league since losing out to Atletico Madrid in early February.
Last week, they faced a much-anticipated away match at Sevilla which saw Marcelino García Toral’s side win 0-2 and all but secure their Champions League spot for next season.
Meanwhile, Alaves are in 16th place in the table. Although they have a nice cushion of 11 points from the bottom three, they have lost three of their last five matches.
Alaves coach Abelardo Fernández has said that he looks at Marcelino “like a mirror” as the club plays a similar system to theirs.
“It is a very vertical, well defined team with clear ideas.
“We have to be humble, the team is very good despite the two recent defeats and I am sure that it will be a good match.”
Similarly, Marcelino was trying to preach caution to his own fans, by reminding them that the Champions League is not yet secured.
“The excessive euphoria worries me and how they consider that we are a ‘Champions team’ when we are not. We have to try to calm this euphoria and respect Alaves.”
Valencia (1-4-4-2): Neto; Gayá, Murillo, Garay, Montoya; Guedes, Parejo, Kondogbia, Soler; Zaza, Rodrigo.
A notable injury for Valencia is Francis Coquelin who is out with an Achilles tendon rupture. He is not expected to return until after the summer.
Alaves (1-4-4-2): Pacheco; Duarte, Ely, Laguardia, Martín; Pedraza, Dani Torres, Pina, Hernan; Guidetti, Munir.
The match kicks-off on Saturday at 16.15h local time / 15.15h BST.