Squad news


02 Apr 2017
Pepe Mel is ready to play with a 4-4-2 formation, he reserved Borges for the next game. Valencia face the game with some important casualties and seem more concern of next season.

Referee: Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea
Kick-off: 18h30 CET (Mestalla)

Mestalla has been a headache for Valencia CF on this season, the same players have confessed that they feel stressed performing at home and the stats demonstrates this. Los Ches are the fifth worst home team in la liga with only eighteen points added in thirteen home matches, while they are the third worst team in terms of goals allowed: 23. Mark only above Sporting Gijón and CA Osasuna (both 31).

Meanwhile, Deportivo arrive to the meeting after adding their first away win in fourteen attempts, a 0-1 win at Sporting Gijón. The Galicians represent the sixth worst away team in the competition, this after only adding eight points in those fourteen games.

Deportivo have been unable to beat Valencia CF at Mestalla during the last nine liga meetings played there; the last success playing in that stadium for this competition was a 1-2 victory back on the season 2004/05 (February 12, 2005; goals scored by Scaloni and Víctor).

Despite the defeat in the derby, there’s a sense of calm surrounding Deportivo. The results of the previous games opened a gap of six points with the drop zone and there’s confidence among the players, but they are also aware that the next three games to be played in a matter of six days can both restart or end the drama of relegation.

Coach Pepe Mel had two weeks to prepare the game and opted in the normal schedule of mixing soft with intense training sessions. According to what was saw in the trainings he is preparing a 4-4-2 formation with Joselu and Florin Andone playing since the start. He was also pending of the state of the international players and made decision on Saturday as only four of these men were picked (Fajr and Çolak).

Team news: The main decision made by Mel was to leave Celso Borges out of the game, the midfielder arrived until Thursday’s night and the coach is reserving him for midweek’s game with Granada CF. And with Pedro Mosquera injured, suddenly the position with more competence at the squad was needing reinforcements, that’s why 20-year-old Eduardo Expósito Jaén from Depor B was picked for the first time in an official game.

Together with Mosquera, the other player at the injury room is winger Gaël Kakuta. Left-back Luisinho is suspended. Attacker Marlos Moreno was picked for the first time with Pepe Mel on, while the other player out for tactical reasons is winger Ola John.

Man to watch: Midfielder Guilherme Dos Santos. The Brazilian became into a fixed starter at the beginning of the year, he was fundamental with Gaizka Garitano, but an injury left him out for a while. His last game with Depor was the 4-0 loss with CD Leganés that cost the job of the previous coach (February 25). Now, with Borges and Mosquera out, he is having his first opportunity with Pepe Mel and will command midfield territory facing a team that normally gives a lot of concessions in the sector.

Picked players: (19) Tytoń, Lux, Roef (goalkeepers); Laure, Juanfran, Arribas, Sidnei, Albentosa, Navarro, (defenders); Álex Bergantiños, Fajr, Çolak, Guilherme, Edu Expósito, Carles Gil, Bruno Gama (midfielders); Joselu, Andone & Marlos Moreno (attackers).

Predicted lineup: (4-4-2) Lux – Juanfran, Albentosa, Sidnei, Navarro – Bruno Gama, Álex Bergantiños, Guilherme, Fajr – Joselu, Andone.

Despite the permanence is not secured yet, the media and the public already want to forget the current season and focus on what signings will be made ahead of the next campaign. So, the sense that the game with Depor is a final seems secondary as the papers prefer to emphasize the possible continuity of coach Salvador González ‘Voro’, or the rumours of possible signings like Pablo Fornals or Linus Wahlqvist.

But the true is that, in order to dream of the future, first the team needs to secure the permanence, and for that they need to defeat direct rivals like Deportivo. Voro faces the game with important casualties, but with enough resources to start convincing the always rigorous Mestalla.

Team news: Three players are out for injury reasons: playmaker Rodrigo (ankle fracture), centre midfielder Mario Suárez (back) and winger Nani (adductor). Centre-back Eliaquim Mangala is out suspended after been sent off against FC Barcelona. Meanwhile, attacker Santi Mina is back after surpassing a muscle injury.

Man to watch: Winger Munir El Haddadi. The 21-year-old loanee from Barcelona is the most in-form player at the team with two goals scored within the last two games. After Dani Parejo and Nani, Munir is the most influent player in offense with five goals scored and three assists added to his tally during this season.

Picked players: (18) Diego Alves, Domenech (goalkeepers); Cancelo, Montoya, Gayá, Siqueira, Garay, Abdennour, Santos (defenders); Enzo Pérez, Medrán, Parejo, Carlos Soler (midfielders); Orellana, Bakkali, Munir, Santi Mina & Zaza (attackers)

Predicted lineup: (4-3-3) Diego Alves – Montoya, Abdennour, Garay, Gayá – Soler, Enzo Pérez, Parejo – Munir, Zaza, Orellana.



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