NEWSThere was confirmation in the past few days that Guedes was left out of the Sevilla game by technical decision rather than illness/injury. Apparently, there are attitude problems, same as what happened with Maxi Gomez earlier, and Gracia decided to send a message to him. In training, the captains had a word with Guedes, as they did with Maxi, to try to get him motivated and relay his importance to the team.
The player that tested positive for COVID turned out to be Kevin Gameiro. There was a report of another positive test since the Sevilla game.
Javi Gracia and Hugo Guillamon were handed a 2-game and 1-game suspension, respectively, following a recent ruling by the RFEF committee. This was for the intentional yellow card received by Guillamon under instruction from Gracia which was caught on camera in the Atletico Madrid game on November 28. In that game, Guillamon was on 4 yellow cards, 1 away from suspension, and picked up an injury. Before being subbed off, Gracia instructed the player to get a yellow card to waste time, and since he would be out for 2 weeks due to the injury, it wouldn't matter. This is against the rules. Valencia is trying to postpone the punishment due to the shortage of players in defense.
Alex Blanco has been officially promoted to the first team. The Mestalla B team recently signed Outtara from Lille on loan with a purchase option, he takes the spot left by Alex Blanco.
Gracia, in the pre-match press conference, reflected on the fact that the transfer window is in it's last stages and he is still in the dark about whether or not signings will be made.
A decision of Kang-In's future will be postponed until summer, for now it appears he will stay. Gracia added in the press conference that he think he is a promising player who showed a lot of maturity and that he hopes he will stay.
There were reports though that Gaya was at least willing to listen to offers. Barcelona is lurking about and have reportedly made a 15 million euro offer already.
In other transfer rumors, there were reports that Valencia had all but closed of Patrick Cutrone from Wolverhampton and the only obstacle left is facilitating the departure of Sobrino to Cadiz. In midfield Valencia is currently pursuing Luis Florentino (Monaco), Nakamba (Aston Villa), Edson Alvarez (Ajax) or Lucas Torreira (Atletico Madrid).
Valencia come into this game on the back of 3-0 away defeat in the Copa del Rey round of 16 to Sevilla in midweek. Javi Gracia fielded a weakened team to rest his players for the La Liga fixtures and ended up suffering a big loss.
Elche's previous fixture was last week, giving them an additional few days rest. They played at home against Barcelona and suffered a 0-2 defeat.
Valencia are currently 14th in the league with 20 points from 20 games. Elche are 19th with 17 points from 18 games.
FORM (**all competitions)
Cillissen and Diakhaby are still out with injuries with Gracia saying that the former could be back after 2 weeks in the best case. Mangala also has an injury but there is some hope that he will be available. Guillamon and Gracia has been cleared to participate after the success of the appeal on the RFEF decision.
Cheryshev has had some discomfort and it is a doubt whether he will start. Gameiro still hasn't tested negative and will miss the game as well. There are still question marks as to who the second player with the positive result is.
Gracia was asked about Piccini's situation and answered that he believes Piccini has a ways to go to be match fit due to his long-term injury and not playing much with Atalanta.