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Primera División

  • January 16, 2011
  • • 16:00
  • • Estadio de Mestalla, Valencia
  • Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco
  • • Attendance: 47000
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La Liga Preview: Valencia – Deportivo La Coruna

La Liga Preview: Valencia – Deportivo La Coruna

After derby success last Sunday, los Che continue their quest for a top four finish against Depor...

Going Strong

Without Copa del Rey action to consider following their elimination from the competition by Villarreal, Valencia can spend the next month fully focussed on their Primera Division duties. A top four finish last season carried the financially depleted club into the money-spinning Champions League, and a top four finish is once again the goal for Unai Emery.

Valencia presently look good to match that expectation. Los Che lie fourth in the standings, three points clear of surprise challengers Espanyol and seven ahead of a trio of teams including Atletico Madrid. While others start to fade, Valencia, who have not been without stutters themselves this term, are proving to be just too consistent.

Since losing 2-0 to Sevilla on the opening weekend of November, Valencia have lost only one of their eight subsequent matches in La Liga, and even that was against Real Madrid. Last weekend’s derby success against Levante may not have been spectacular, but it was a more comfortable match than the 1-0 scoreline suggested.

“I think we played a great game against a great rival, showing defensive strength and offensive efficiency,” Emery indicated to the press after the game.

With a strong record at home – five wins and three draws from nine matches – Valencia would expect to triumph on Sunday evening, though they will be in for another tough encounter against dogged rivals.

Focussed On La Liga

The opening weeks of the campaign were extremely worrying for Deportivo La Coruna, who failed to win any of their first eight league fixtures. Miguel Angel Lotina’s men have since bounced back impressively, gathering five wins from their last 10 matches and moving out of the relegation zone to something like a safe position.

Many of their best results have come at the Riazor, which was something of a stronghold for them this term until Barcelona visited last weekend. La Blaugrana made Super Depor look like amateurs by romping to an efficient 4-0 victory.

This season hasn’t all been about doom and gloom for the north-westerners, but coach Lotina is perfectly prepared to sacrifice the team’s one genuine chance of lifting silverware in order to maximise their performance in the league. The Galicians have made the Copa del Rey quarter-finals, but were lucky to escape Almeria only losing 1-0 in midweek, and Lotina confessed that the knockout competition is not a priority after the game.

“We have an eye focussed on doing well in the league, which is really important to us,” he told the media after watching his side get firmly outplayed by their hosts.

Having kept many of his best players in reserve, Thursday’s defeat will seem rather wasteful if Depor fail to shine at the Mestalla.

TEAM NEWS

Valencia


David Albelda will be missing after undergoing exploratory surgery on his knee, which will require a month to overcome. David Navarro and Tino Costa could return to action as they have been training normally, though Unai Emery may take a conservative approach with the players. Aritz Aduriz is banned.

Deportivo


Deportivo named a 20-man panel for the matches against Almeria and Valencia, and this hasn’t changed subsequently. Ruben Perez drops out due to a ban.

Jonathan Urreta, Saul Fernandez, Andres Guardado, Michel, Riki and Claudio Morel comprise the club’s injury list.


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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
13GuaitaGoalkeeper
23Miguel BritoDefender
33Marius StankeviciusDefender
-DealbertDefender
22Jérémy MathieuDefender
11Pablo HernándezMidfielder
-Ever BanegaMidfielder
8Hedwiges MaduroMidfielder
14Vicente Rodríguez GuillénMidfielder
8Juan MataStriker
9Roberto SoldadoStriker
-SaúlGoalkeeper
2BrunoDefender
25Alejandro DomínguezStriker
24Tino CostaMidfielder
5Mehmet TopalMidfielder
18Jordi AlbaDefender
20Ricardo CostaDefender
1Dani AranzubiaGoalkeeper
15LaureDefender
7Alberto LopoDefender
23AythamiDefender
19Diego Daniel ColottoDefender
2Manuel PabloDefender
19Antonio TomásMidfielder
28Juan DomínguezMidfielder
23Juan RodríguezMidfielder
7AdriánStriker
-Niouoi LassadStriker
-ManuGoalkeeper
23Knut RindarøyDefender
-Zé CastroDefender
31Yves DesmaretsMidfielder
-ValerónMidfielder
6JucaMidfielder
-Pablo ÁlvarezMidfielder
Prediction
Valencia have only lost once at home this season, and though there’s been the odd surprise draw along the way, los Che are tending to win the majority of their fixtures at the Mestalla. Deportivo La Coruna don’t have a particularly good away record, so the odds on them winning will be long. On this occasion, it’s difficult to go against the favourites.

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Editor's Prediction

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