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Primera División

  • April 15, 2012
  • • 11:00
  • • Estadi Cornellà-El Prat, Cornella de Llobregat
  • Referee: Ignacio Iglesias
  • • Attendance: 24205
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Espanyol - Valencia Preview: Los Che look to continue fine form and retain third place

Espanyol - Valencia Preview: Los Che look to continue fine form and retain third place

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After a dominating performance on Wednesday, Unai Emery's men are hoping to secure the three points ahead of Thursday's Europa League semi-final showdown


PROBABLE LINEUPS

ESPANYOL

Casilla
Lopez, Rodriguez, Moreno, Didac
Baena, Gomez
Weiss, Verdu, Garcia
Uche
VALENCIA

Guaita
Barragan, Rami, Costa, Mathieu
Maduro, Parejo
Hernandez, Canales, Piatti
Aduriz

Espanyol will be without two of their most important players as Philippe Coutinho and Juan Forlin both saw red cards last time out against Osasuna. Raul Rodriguez looks set to replace the Argentine in defence, with Vladimir Weiss looking to take the spot of the young Brazilian.

There was doubt as to whether Sergio Garcia would play after limping off in the 2-0 loss in midweek with injury. He did practice on Friday and looks set to start in this one.

For Valencia, Unai Emery may aim to rest a few players ahead of Thursday's Europa League semi-final match at Atletico Madrid. With the recent returns of Hedwiges Maduro and Sergio Canales from injuries that kept them out for months, the Spanish tactician may look to rotate his squad ahead of the European game.

Roberto Soldado, who is recovering from injury, has stated that he wants to play in this match, but he could be left on the bench with Aritz Aduriz starting as the former Real Madrid man is not fully-fit.

On the injury front, Ever Banega is still out with a long-term ankle knock he suffered in February when he ran himself over with his own car, while Victor Ruiz aims to return after missing the last match with a minor problem.


DID YOU KNOW?
  • Espanyol are in 10th place in the league with 42 points and are just four behind Osasuna for the last Europa League spo.
  • Mauricio Pochettino's men are winless in their last five games, losing two and drawing three.
  • The hosts last beat Los Che nearly four years go, winning 3-0 at home.
  • Valencia are in third place in the league with 52 points.
  • After a poor run of form starting in late May that saw the club lose three of four, Unai Emery's side haven't been defeated in April. The team have two wins totaling eight goals and also earned an impressive draw at Real Madrid on April 8.
  • Unai Emery's side are in the Europa League semi-finals, where they will play Atletico Madrid in two legs on April 19 and April 26.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
-Cristian AlvarezGoalkeeper
35Dídac VilàDefender
15Héctor MorenoDefender
16Javier López RodríguezDefender
3Raúl RodríguezDefender
7Raúl BaenaMidfielder
30Cristian GómezMidfielder
40Vladimir WeissMidfielder
10VerdúMidfielder
-Kalu UcheStriker
9Sergio GarcíaStriker
13Kiko CasillaGoalkeeper
2Jordi AmatDefender
-RomaricMidfielder
4Víctor Sánchez MataMidfielder
35RUI FonteStriker
20ÁlvaroStriker
-PandianiStriker
30GuaitaGoalkeeper
4Adil RamiDefender
19BarragánDefender
18Jordi AlbaDefender
20Ricardo CostaDefender
3Jérémy MathieuDefender
5Mehmet TopalMidfielder
-Pablo HernándezMidfielder
21ParejoMidfielder
24Tino CostaMidfielder
7JonasStriker
1Diego AlvesGoalkeeper
18Víctor RuizDefender
8Hedwiges MaduroMidfielder
-AlbeldaMidfielder
8Sofiane FeghouliMidfielder
20Aritz Aduriz ZubeldiaStriker
16CanalesMidfielder
Players to Watch
Raúl Rodríguez
Raúl Rodríguez
Position: Defender
Squad Number: 3
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Looking set to start for Juan Forlin in defence, the Spaniard will need to be at his best to stop a Valencia attack that has been quite efficient.
Guaita
Guaita
Position: Goalkeeper
Squad Number: 30
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The Spanish shot-stopper has been keeping nearly everything out with acrobatic saves and perfect timing. His form will go a long way in deciding if Los Che can escape with points on Sunday.
Prediction
Valencia have been in fantastic form over the last couple weeks and should have no issue earning a win at Espanyol before Thursday's clash with Atletico Madrid in the Europa League
Editor's Prediction

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