Preview: Valencia vs. Sevilla

Preview: Valencia vs. Sevilla

Fellow strugglers Valencia and Sevilla will aim to enhance their chances of La Liga survival when they lock horns in an unfamiliar bottom-eight clash at the Mestalla.

Valencia sit two points inside the relegation zone, while Sevilla find themselves five points above the bottom three, making Sunday’s showdown vitally important for both sides.

Valencia decided to part company with manager Gennaro Gattuso in January following a run of one victory in 10 league outings, ending the Italian’s brief spell in the Mestalla hot seat.

However, new boss Ruben Baraja has so far failed to transform the club’s fortunes, as Valencia have lost seven of their 10 matches since Gattuso’s departure, taking seven points from a possible 30 in the process.

When you look at the bigger picture, Los Che have managed to win just two of their previous 14 La Liga encounters, suffering 10 defeats along the way.

The idea of Valencia playing in the second division may seem crazy to fans of Spanish football, especially those who have seen the club win both domestic and European titles since the turn of the century.

That said, only relegation-doomed Elche have suffered more La Liga defeats than Valencia’s 15 this season, so few would argue that Los Che do not deserve to be two points inside the relegation zone with 10 games remaining.

Despite sitting five points clear of Valencia, Sevilla still remain in real danger of relegation having struggled for consistency throughout the campaign.

Indeed, Los Nervionenses have managed to win just eight of their 28 league matches this season, recording eight draws and 12 losses to prevent them from steering clear of the drop zone.

It is also worth noting that Sevilla have won only three of their 14 away league games this term, with a solitary victory coming in their previous nine outings on the road, so Jose Luis Mendilibar’s men must improve on their travels.

On that note, Sevilla came from 2-0 down to rescue a late draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Thursday, setting themselves up for the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final showdown.

Having displayed grit and determination to snatch a draw in testing circumstances, Los Nervionenses will be hopeful of registering another positive result this weekend.

Valencia La Liga form:

Sevilla La Liga form:

Sevilla form (all competitions):

We say: Valencia 1-1 Sevilla
This is destined to be a cagey clash between two high-profile clubs battling for La Liga safety, so we expect Valencia and Sevilla to play out a close-fought draw at the Mestalla.

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