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The Spanish club's former striker has doubts over the current side as a result of the inconsistency that has plagued their season, with Basel their last-eight opponents

EXCLUSIVE
By Alberto Pinero

Former Valencia striker Mista doubts that his old club are capable of lifting the Europa League trophy this season ahead of the first leg of their quarter-final tie against Basel.

Los Che were beaten 3-1 by Getafe on Saturday in La Liga to leave them in eighth place in Spain's top flight and nine points adrift of seventh spot.

However, they do have the opportunity to salvage something from a difficult campaign when they continue their quest for success in Europe on Thursday, though Mista fears that their inconsistency will be their undoing.

He told Goal: "I guess, with the league in no man's land, they will focus on the Europa League. It is a very inviting competition for Valencia fans.

"Valencia, Europa League champions? I have doubts. We do not know which version of the team is going to show up. They are at least among the four best squads in the competition. I see them reaching the semi-finals or final but what will happen depends on how serious the players are."

Mista was part of the Valencia side who lifted the Uefa Cup in 2004 but the 35-year-old believes that the current crop are lacking in several key ingredients.

"Ours was a team with a great confidence in ourselves," he reflected. "Maybe that's what's missing from this Valencia. We had a reliability, safety and consistency that is now missing. It reflects the situation of instability in the club.

"The doubts over the sale of the club do not help the players at all and, second, even though Juan Antonio Pizzi has done a good job, there is still a lot of work to be done."

Thursday's game will be played behind closed doors after Basel fans were punished for causing the second leg of their last-16 clash with Red Bull Salzburg to be suspended for 13 minutes.
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