Valencia’s Francis Coquelin is relishing his first derby in Spain as they prepare to face Levante on Sunday.
The Mestalla outfit have failed to win any of their last six games in all competitions, and need a victory against the Frogs to help continue their push for a Champions League spot in La Liga.
The 26-year-old has experience of local derbies in France, Germany and during his time in Arsenal, and says a win for Marcelino's side would ‘bring the joy back’ to his the squad.
“I’m really looking forward to it. It’s a big derby you know. We are at home to Levante, who are also a good team,” Coquelin told Goal.
“The atmosphere will be pumping because it is a derby, a derby is a derby, not like any other match. I played in the North London derby for Arsenal against Tottenham, so I know exactly how a derby feels.
“The most important thing is obviously to win this game to bring the joy back to Valencia, it is a vital game for us to win, we are at home, therefore, we will have the 12th man, the fans on our side pushing us to take all three points.”
Defeats to Las Palmas, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid mean Valencia sit third in the Liga table with 40 points from 22 games and at risk of missing out on a top-four berth with Villarreal and Eibar breathing down their neck.
Nonetheless, Coquelin feels victory against Juan Lopez Muniz’s side can spark up redemption.
“We played tough fixtures. As Valencia we should have won a few of those games but at the same time you are playing against top side in La Liga and sometimes it can be difficult,” he continued.
“Against Real Madrid I played at centre back, which alone shows you that all our defenders were injured or suspended for that fixture.
“Sunday’s game is a big game so this is a good chance for us to turn things around by winning this local derby.”