La Liga Preview: Valencia v Malaga
After three straight games on the road, none of which resulted in victories, Unai Emery's men return to the Mestalla with the hope of getting back on track
By Roger Gonzalez
Barragan, Rami, Ruiz, Alba
Feghouli, Jonas, Mathieu
Sanchez, Demichelis, Mathijsen, Monreal
Unai Emery will have to do without the services of Hedwiges Maduro and Sergio Canales, who have been out since October with knocks and are still recuperating. Miguel is not in the best standing with the club and may not feature for quite awhile after arriving to practice late on Sunday and failing to meet with his coach.
Ever Banega, who had missed more than a month with a knee injury, returned to action as a substitute in the 0-0 draw with Cadiz midweek in the Copa del Rey, and is likely to feature against Malaga, but not from the start.
On the suspension front, Tino Costa will miss the game due to yellow card accumulation, but he is also injured and wouldn't have played anyways, as he will sit out the rest of 2011 with an abductor injury.
For Malaga, Julio Baptista was only expected to miss a few weeks after being injured on October 1, but the former Real Madrid man is set to miss two months after his slow recovery revealed a fragment of bone that needs to be removed from his right foot.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Valencia sit in third place in La Liga with 30 points, seven behind co-leaders Real Madrid and Barcelona.
- Unai Emery's side, who will face Stoke City in the Europa League Round of 32, have not tasted victory in their last three games in all competitions, losing two and drawing one.
- Star striker Roberto Soldado has 14 goals on the season, nine in the league and five in the Champions League, but only once this term has he scored on the road, netting the winner in a 1-0 victory over Sporting Gijon in mid-September.
- Malaga occupy sixth place in the league with 24 points.
- The last time the southern club visited Mestalla, they ended up on the wrong side of a thrilling 4-3 contest, with Aritz Aduriz scoring in the 90th minute to secure the victory for Los Che.
- Malaga winger Joaquin played for Valencia from 2006-2011, winning the Copa del Rey in 2007-08.
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Top 3 Predictions
Valencia CF 2-0 Malaga
- 22.67 %
Valencia CF 2-1 Malaga
- 18.63 %
Valencia CF 3-1 Malaga
- 13.35 %
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Aug 17, 2013||Valencia CF 1 - Malaga 0|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Apr 20, 2013||Valencia CF 5 - Malaga 1|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Nov 24, 2012||Malaga 4 - Valencia CF 0|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Apr 29, 2012||Malaga 1 - Valencia CF 0|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Dec 18, 2011||Valencia CF 2 - Malaga 0|
|Dec 8, 2013||Gimnastic 0 - Valencia CF 0||ESPC|
|Dec 1, 2013||Valencia CF 3 - Osasuna 0||LIGA|
|Nov 28, 2013||Swansea 0 - Valencia CF 1||EL|
|Nov 24, 2013||Elche 2 - Valencia CF 1||LIGA|
|Nov 10, 2013||Valencia CF 2 - Valladolid 2||LIGA|
|20||Aritz Aduriz Zubeldia||Striker|
|21||Sebastián Fernández Miglierina||Striker|
|22||Ruud Van Nistelrooy||Striker|
Relatively quiet as of late, Valencia fans are waiting for the Brazilian to regain his fine form of scoring goals and setting up teammates. He will be needed on Sunday against a dangerous Malaga side as the home team look to get back on track.
Always a liability in defence, the Argentine at times looks like a solid defender and other times like an inexperienced reserve. Against Roberto Soldado, the former Bayern Munich man will need to be at his best.
Always better at home, Valencia should create enough chances in attack to see off the visitors and earn their first victory since December 3.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed