Valencia CF vs RCD Espanyol
03.12.11; 22:00 CET
17th matchday, La Liga
Expected Attendance: 40.000
Coaches: Unai emery and Mauricio Pochettino
Valencia CF has been in great form the last few weeks with wins in the Champions League and La Liga. We are third position on the table just 4 points behind Barcelona, a feat that would have seemed impossible one or two years ago. Surprisingly though Levante, the other Valencia based club is hot on our heels with just one less point and even though we defeated them in a good fashion 2-0, they seem to be doing pretty well for themselves and are proving to be stiff competition so far.
Valencia CF just needs to continue winning, grinding out wins if it has to and keep close to the big two this season as that is the goal, the overall objective set by the president Llorente and Emery. We welcome RCD Espanyol at the Mestalla today and unlike last season where they were in the top 4 positions with some great defensive displays, Espanyol are at the more modest 9th position on the table right now.
As far as injuries and recovery, Guaita is recovered, but will still not feature just in case and Ever Banega and Ricardo Costa are progressing well, but still got some way to go before they are fit to even be in contention for selection. Victor Ruiz is also in question and probably won't play, but its not exactly sure. In other news Miguel has had a bit of a slip up in his behavior and has missed training by some 30 minutes and as punishment Emery will not include him for this match, which means most likely Barragan is going to start again as he seems to be better than Bruno.
Soldado and Jonas are probably going to be rested and Aduriz and Piatti should take their places. I'd also expect Parejo to feature, but that may be taking it a bit far for Emery and he is probably going to play it safe with Tino Costa.
RCD Espanyol on the other hand are 9th on the table with only 17 points a staggering number of 6 losses so far. They haven't been liking in the back, but have one of the poorest scoring records in the league so far with only 10 goals scored, Valencia in comparison has scored 21 goals. They are also worse when visiting teams and haven't been able to hold out for draws.
Espanyol's last three matches have been decent with two draws and one loss, but they will be hoping for some wins at least in the future if at against Valencia. They are likely to be very motivated for this match and as always I predict that Valencia CF will need to suffer in order to get a result, but we should win over Espanyol and have ease of mind and be comfortable going into the Champions league match against Chelsea!
Valencia CF 2-0 RCD Espanyol