Preview: Valencia vs. Villarreal

Preview: Valencia vs. Villarreal

Both Valencia and Villarreal will be looking to bounce back from defeats when they continue their respective La Liga campaigns with a clash at the Mestalla on Friday night.

The home side will enter the contest off the back of a 3-0 defeat at Getafe last weekend, while Villarreal suffered a 2-0 home loss to league leaders Atletico Madrid.
There is no getting away from the fact that it has been a disappointing 2020-21 campaign for Valencia, who have picked up just 27 points from their 25 La Liga matches to occupy 14th position in the table.

Los Che are only five points clear of the relegation zone heading into Friday’s clash, while they have lost 10 times in the league this season, including a 3-0 defeat away to Getafe last time out.

Javi Gracia’s side have only suffered three league defeats on their own patch this season, which is far from a disastrous record, but they will be facing a Villarreal side that have lost just twice on their travels and four times overall, with only leaders Atletico suffering fewer defeats this term.

Valencia have not actually finished lower than 12th in La Liga since the 1987-88 campaign, when they claimed 14th, and improvement will be needed across the board in the final weeks of the season if they are to push towards the top half of the division.

Villarreal, meanwhile, will enter Friday’s contest off the back of a 2-0 defeat at home to Atletico on Sunday, with an own goal from Alfonso Pedraza and second-half Joao Felix effort allowing the league leaders to triumph.

The Yellow Submarine are actually on a seven-game winless run in Spain’s top flight, which has seen them drop down to seventh position in the table, two points behind sixth-placed Real Betis and five points behind fifth-placed Real Sociedad, who are actually now just six points off the top four.

Unai Emery’s side, as mentioned, have only lost four league games this season but have managed just eight wins, with too many draws (13) preventing them from pushing towards the Champions League positions.

Villarreal need to address their league form if they are to secure a top-six finish, but the Europa League is certainly a distraction, with the Spanish outfit preparing for a two-legged last-16 tie with Dynamo Kiev.

El Submarino Amarillo have been victorious in their last two league games with Valencia, including a 2-1 win on home soil earlier this season, but they suffered a 2-1 loss in the corresponding match last term.

Valencia La Liga form: DDDLDL
Valencia form (all competitions): DLWDWL

Villarreal La Liga form: DDDLDL
Villarreal form (all competitions): DLWDWL

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