Valencia - AZ Preview: Los Che aim to please frustrated home fans with a place in the semi-finals of the Europa League
The Eredivisie side hold a narrow advantage after last week's opening leg and aim to add to the misery of Unai Emery's men, who have won just once in their last seven games
By Roger Gonzalez
Barragan, Rami, Victor Ruiz, Mathieu
Albelda, T Costa
Feghouli, Jonas, Jordi Alba
Marcellis, Moisander, Viergever, Poulsen
Maher, Martens, Elm
Gudmundsson, Altidore, Holman
For Valencia, Adil Rami returns from suspension to boost a defence that has looked short of average for the past month. Miguel is also back in the squad after a six-week recovery from an injury and the Portuguese is even in with a chance to displace Antonio Barragan in the starting XI.
Ever Banega and Sergio Canales are both still sidelined for Unai Emery's team, while Hedwiges Maduro continues to recuperate from his ankle problem and could feature very soon.
For the visitors, striker Roy Beerens (ribs) is still looking to reach full fitness and is the only injury concern. He will travel to Spain, but whether he will play will be decided by coach Gertjan Verbeek on Wednesday.
Up top, American Jozy Altidore may get the nod, despite a poor performance in the first leg, as he found the net at the weekend in a 2-2 draw with Vitesse.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- Valencia last won a game at home on March 8, defeating PSV 4-2 in the Europa League round of 16.
- On Sunday, the Spanish team drew with Levante 1-1 in the local derby. Another 1-1 draw in this game can be backed at 9.0 wiht 188Bet.
- The hosts have only been held scoreless at Mestalla once this season, falling 0-1 to Real Sociedad in mid-January.
- AZ enter the game having lost only twice in their last 11 games.
- The Dutch side have never won this competition.
- In seven Europa League away games this season, AZ have won just once.
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Top 3 Predictions
Valencia 2-0 AZ Alkmaar
- 24.3 %
Valencia 3-1 AZ Alkmaar
- 12.62 %
Valencia 3-0 AZ Alkmaar
- 11.22 %
|Europa League (EL)||5 Apr 2012||Valencia 4 - AZ Alkmaar 0|
|Europa League (EL)||29 Mar 2012||AZ Alkmaar 2 - Valencia 1|
|13 Mar 2014||PFC Ludogorets Razgrad 0 - Valencia 3||EL|
|9 Mar 2014||Valencia 1 - Athletic de Bilbao 1||LIGA|
|2 Mar 2014||Rayo Vallecano 1 - Valencia 0||LIGA|
|27 Feb 2014||Valencia 0 - Dynamo Kiev 0||EL|
|23 Feb 2014||Valencia 2 - Granada 1||LIGA|
|20||Aritz Aduriz Zubeldia||Striker|
All the weight is on his soldiers. He is the star and the one to take the team to the next round. He will have his chances, but he must convert if Los Che are to continue on the path to European glory.
The American has found a home in the Netherlands, but his performance in the first leg was awful. Returning to Spain after playing for Villarreal, the striker will look to put away the home team and help the Dutch clinch a spot in the semi-finals.
Valencia should have no problem finding the net, but it may not be tough for the visitors to do the same. The form of the home defenders will go a long way in deciding this one. In the end, the Dutch escape.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed