Valencia meet Sevilla at Mestella on Saturday evening in a game that looks set to be one of the most exciting of the weekend.
Valencia come into the game in great form and sit second in La Liga with 18 points from their first eight games. They are one of only three teams who remain unbeaten in Spain’s top flight and only Barcelona have scored more goals than Los Che. At home they have won three and drew one of their four league games. They have now won four games in a row scoring 17 goals in the process although they have conceded seven in their last three due to 3-2 wins over Real Sociedad and Athletic Club combined with a 6-3 win over Real Betis last weekend.
Valencia have pretty much got a clean bill of health for this game with only Javi Jimenez Garcia out for this game but he is a long term injury and is yet to make his La Liga debut for the club. Otherwise Marcelino is free to pick the team as he pleases which is a huge boost for Valencia in a game that ultimately could end up having a bearing on the European places in La Liga come next May. The Spaniard has already named his 18 man squad and has left Nacho Vidal, Roberto Ibanez, Fabian Orellana and Ruben Vezo out of the panel that will face the Andalusians.
Marcelino wasn’t getting too carried away by the teams good start to the season and instead choose to talk about doing better defensively n his prematch press conference. “We need to work with the same level of defensive accuracy as was displayed in the game against Atletico Madrid,” said Marcelino. When asked about Sevilla’s heavy defeat to Spartak Moscow in midweek he said, “every match is different. They had a bad day but the result could have been different as they had clear chances to go ahead when the score was 1-1.”
Sevilla come into the game just two points behind Valencia in fifth place in La Liga. They have only scored nine goals in eight league games but they have done well defensively conceding just four which is only bettered by Barcelona and Leganes. Sevilla made a good start to the season but they come into this game on the back of successive defeats after losing to Athletic last weekend and suffering a humiliating 5-1 defeat to Spartak Moscow on Tuesday in the Champions League.
Sevilla will be without Daniel Carrico, Steven N’Zonzi and Nico Pareja who are all injured while Eduardo Berizzo has also taken the decision to leave Borja Lasso, Walter Montoya and Ganso out of the 19 man squad that will travel to Valencia to attempt to restore some confidence back in a team that has endured a difficult week.
In his pregame press conference Berizzo sought to put the Spartak defeat behind him saying, “It was a defensive accident. We allowed the opponent to shoot six times and they scored five goals.” He went on to say, “It is necessary to correct and improve the defensive solidity and to maintain our possession game especially against Valencia as we will need to be aware of the movement from (Simone) Zaza and Rodrigo.”
There probably isn’t a lot between these sides and while most would have predicted Sevilla would be ahead of Valencia this season, Los Che come into the game in the better form and will perhaps be expected to take all three points but at the same time Sevilla are too good a side to write off and while they have suffered in the past week it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a big reaction at Mestella which only adds to the interest and intrigue around what already promised to be an exciting game.