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Primera División

  • December 13, 2010
  • • 20:00
  • • Estadio de Mestalla, Valencia
  • Referee: César Muñiz Fernández
  • • Attendance: 28000
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La Liga Preview: Valencia - Osasuna

La Liga Preview: Valencia - Osasuna

Monday’s encounter pits los Che against los Rojillos...

Competitive Against Anyone

The weekend’s Primera Division action concludes with Valencia attempting to strengthen their push for a Champions League spot against Osasuna.

Going into the weekend, los Che sit one place behind Espanyol, who occupy the magic fourth spot, but the Mestalla outfit cannot hope to claim that prize from the Catalans immediately as there is a four point margin that first has to be bridged. Unai Emery’s men will hope to take the first steps to doing that on Monday.

Over the course of the last week, los Che have been faced with two very testing matches. The first came away to Real Madrid and was largely a disappointing experience as Valencia failed to test the defensive solidarity of the rocking Blancos. Emery opted for a defensive approach and would be punished with a 2-0 defeat, albeit suffering only after David Albelda had been rather harshly dismissed.

Better would follow against Manchester United in midweek, when a 1-1 draw was earned at Old Trafford. Again this would be a performance tinged with some disappointment as the Spaniards were ahead but could not hold on.

“I clearly believe that Valencia are able to compete with anyone and play well at any field, as seen in our performance in Manchester,” Emery explained to the media.

Los Rojillos are the challenge that has been next placed in front of los Che, so Emery’s words will again be put to the test.

Split Personality

Jose Antonio Camacho’s Osasuna side continue to be one-of the most two-faced in the league. A trip to the Reyno de Navarre is not a journey that many will relish, but equally hosting los Rojillos shouldn’t prove to be too problematic given that they’ve earned only one point from a possible 21 on the road.

Even los Rojillos’ terrific record at home wasn’t enough to worry Barcelona last weekend as the defending champions romped to a somewhat flattering 3-0 success, despite something of an odyssey trying to reach the ground. Camacho praised the attitude of his players during that encounter, hoping that they can display similar resilience in future encounters.

A trip to Valencia doesn’t promise a good deal for the Pamplona side, who were hammered 3-0 at the Mestalla last season. Camacho’s men weren’t a good deal better on the road last term, and failed to win a match on their travels apart from against the last four teams alphabetically in La Liga, who by some quirk of fate all went down against los Rojillos.

With a history of underachievement outside Pamplona, Osasuna cannot hope for too much against Valencia. Los Che can be erratic, and if their guests stumble into the kind of form that has seen them regularly impress at home then there is a slim chance of an upset.


TEAM NEWS

Valencia

David Navarro and Cesar are both recalled, but Alejandro Dominguez, Mehmet Topal and Moya are injured.

Tino Costa and David Albelda are both suspended.

Osasuna

Damia, Ruper and Camunas are the three selection issues troubling the visiting sides.

Players to watch

É. Banega

Position: Midfielder

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Ever Banega is a player who can really make Valencia tick when given the opportunity. In the centre of the midfield he is capable at both ends of the field, though it was his distribution that caught the eye as los Che earned a midweek Champions League point against Manchester United. The Argentine has the ability to lift his side up a level.

J. Nekounam

Position: Midfielder

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Countryman Masoud Shojaei may be Osasuna’s player in form at present, but Javad Nekounam has the potential to be just as effective. The Iranian international has a great deal of self-confidence and possesses a wide array of talents in the centre of the field. If he can get a grip on this encounter, los Rojillos will be in a good position.

Editor's Prediction

Valencia’s form has been a tad unpredictable of late, but they will have gained confidence from their midweek draw against Manchester United. Osasuna, meanwhile, have experienced a miserable run of form on the road and cannot hope to overcome a side playing for a Champions League spot on such form.

Think you know the score? Visit William Hill to bet on this match now.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Valencia

Osasuna

Wins
4
1
0
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Valencia Club de Fútbol VAL
Valencia Club de Fútbol Valencia
Draw
CA Osasuna OSA
CA Osasuna Osasuna
91%

Top 3 Predictions

Valencia Club de Fútbol VAL
2 - 0
CA Osasuna OSA
Valencia Club de Fútbol VAL
3 - 0
CA Osasuna OSA
Valencia Club de Fútbol VAL
3 - 1
CA Osasuna OSA

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