We’ll know this weekend whether 7th place is going to be good enough to get us into Europe, but in the meantime if we have any intention of finishing in the top six matches like this one, at home, need to be one. We are unbeaten in our last four La Liga home matches against Valencia, and we’ll need to make it five without Gerard available as he misses due to injury.
Valencia have taken the last two matches against us in the league, both at the Mestalla, but they’ve never beaten us three times in a row before in the first division. The big question on their end is whether they will choose to rotate with the Copa Del Rey final happening this weekend. Sitting in 10th, 7th points adrift of 7th, their best hope of making it to Europe is winning this weekend, and though there is plenty of time for their players to rest before the match on Saturday, any questionable players probably will not be risked against us.
Los Che are in stuttering form, having drawn three of their last five matches with only one win. For our part we have eight days until we play again and I expect Emery to go for this one with everything he has available.
We are better than Valencia in almost every measurable way, but in rivalry games anything can happen. We can only hope the same big game mentality that we’ve shown against Juventus and Bayern comes to the fore in this one.