Sporting Gijon and Valencia will go head-to-head in the opening Copa del Rey last-16 tie on Tuesday evening at El Molinon.
Gijon will provide Marcelino with another tough test and one he could arguably do without at present after seeing his side struggle in La Liga this term.
The second division outift had gone ten games unbeaten at home in all competition before the 2-1 defeat to Real Zaragoza at the weekend and currently sit mid-table in La Liga 123.
Valencia’s 2-1 defeat to high-flying Alaves at the weekend saw their five game unbeaten run come to an end and has somewhat put Marcelino’s side going back to the drawing board.
Sitting in 11th place, results have improved from the start of the season, praising the club’s decision to stick with the Spanish coach when linked with the sack previously.
Europe is not that far a possibility now either with eight points seperating fifth placed Real Madrid and Valencia.
A Copa del Rey success would also be a handy route to go down for Marcelino and the squad to appease their frustrated fans, but will their priority to improve in the league halt take prominence.
Gabriel Paulista and Santi Mina have been dropped from the matchday squad, Kondogbia, Guedes, and Coquelin through injury which sees Kang in and Uroš Račić take their places and both Soler and Gayà restored after serving a one-match ban.
Gijon: Marino, Geraldes, Perez, Peybernes, Perez, Carmona, Salvador, Mendez, Traver, Blackman, Durdevic
Valencia: Domenech, Piccini, Vezo, Garay, Diakhaby, Lato, Torres, Racic, Cheryshev, Lee, Batshuayi