Friday, October 28, 2016

Left Back Issues

Per Valencia's website (, Jose Luis Gaya has a "minor muscle injury" and his return date is currently unknown.

He is thus unlikely to play this weekend, leaving the position of left back up for grabs. There are four people who could fill Gaya's spot: Siqueira, Lato, Abdennour, and Montoya. All four have different pros and cons.

Siqueira played very well as left back last year, and at times  he displaced Gaya from the starting 11. However, he only started training with the group on Thursday, finally shaking off a niggling ankle injury. Because of this, he has little rhythm and probably isn't fit enough to go 90 minutes.

Toni Lato is VFC Mestalla's usual starting left back, although he, like Siqueira was dealing with injuries at the beginning of the season. However, he played well during preseason, coming on for Gaya several times, so it's possible that Prandelli sees him as a better option than Siqueira, who hasn't played since last year.

Abdennour is healthy and did a perfectly fine job (save the penalty) as left back against Barcelona, making several key interceptions and clearances. However, due to the penalty, as well as his relative lack of pace, Prandelli might be reluctant to ask him to play full-back again.

The safest option is Martin Montoya, who already played as left back against Real Betis. His contribution to attack would be limited, but defensively he would be very secure, and he has already proven himself fairly reliable on the right. This would mean that Cancelo, who has primarily played as a winger under Prandelli, would play as right back, giving a player like Munir the option to start.

None of these situations is ideal, so Prandelli will have a tough decision ahead.

Who do you think should play as left back against Deportivo? Let us know in the comment section below.