Little piece I did for Loco For Los Che
Although Deportivo La Coruña’s trip to the Mestalla may not have the significance it would have had earlier in the season, both teams still desperately need the points and neither will be playing easy on Saturday night.
Valencia looked to be moving well clear of the chasing pack only a few weeks ago, but losses to Real Madrid and Mallorca has seen Los Che drop to only four points clear of Mallorca, and five of Sevilla. A loss to Deportivo and wins for Mallorca and Sevilla could potentially put Valencia’s Champions League aspirations under severe threat.
In other competitions, Los Che were recently eliminated by Atlético Madrid in the quarter-finals of the Europa League, after a 2-2 draw at the Mestalla, followed by a 0-0 draw in Madrid. While controversy was rife in the second-leg, ultimately Valencia should have played better in both.
With Villa and Silva both in good form, Deportivo will have to be weary at the back. What more can be said about Valencia’s sublime attacking threat? In full flight, the dynamic attack of Villa, Silva, Mata and Pablo/Joaquin, is the best attack in the world, capable of putting any team to the sword.
Valencia CF squad:
To Be Announced
Deportivo La Coruña
Deportivo had a solid start to the season and were looking to push on and secure the final Champions League position, but a poor run of results has seen them slip out of the Europa League places. Currently sitting in 9th place, Super Depor need a run of results to get back into contention for European football, and will be looking to start that run with a win against Valencia.
Andrés Guardado (pictured) has been key for Deportivo this season, and had a great game against Valencia back in December, but unfortunately for Depor he will miss the game with a muscular injury. Guardado is not the only injury facing Deportivo, as they will head to the Mestalla without eight players. In the midst of the injury crisis, reliable midfielders Sergio González and Juan Carlos Valerón could be crucial, as Depor look to break up Valencia’s attacking options. Up front, seasoned striker Riki could be as crucial, as he and Adrián López look to create chances without the help of Guardado.
While Deportivo may not have had the season they had hoped for, Valencia fans should not underestimate the team that has already drawn with Los Che twice and in the Copa del Rey this season. Back in December the two sides ground out a 0-0 stalemate at the Estadio Riazor, and Deportivo improved on this with a 2-1 victory in the Copa del Rey, followed by a 2-2 draw in the second leg.
Deportivo La Coruña squad:
Goalkeepers: Daniel Aranzubía, Manu
Defense: Laure, Manuel Pablo, Piscu, Zé Castro, Raúl, Rochela
Midfield: Antonio Tomás, Iván Pérez, Juan Rodríguez, Juan Carlos Valerón, Pablo Álvarez, Sergio González
Strikers: Mista, Adrián López, Lassad Nouioui, Riki