Valencia ended a run of eight La Liga games without victory last time out and Javi Gracia will now look to make it consecutive wins when they host Osasuna on Thursday at 6pm (UK time).
Los Che have been significantly below par this term, collecting just 19 points from their opening 18 games (their worst return since 2016/17), but a 1-0 win over Real Valladolid earlier this month has generated some momentum heading into this crunch clash with relegation-threatened Osasuna.
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Where to watch Valencia vs Osasuna on TV:
- UK: LaLigaTV
- US: beIN SPORTS
Scoreline prediction: Valencia 2-1 Osasuna
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Valencia vs Osasuna build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
The turmoil off the pitch has been well-documented at Mestalla and has taken its toll on Gracia’s tenure, with his side currently languishing precariously above the drop zone by just two points and looking for back-to-back wins for the first time since February 2020.
Osasuna haven’t fared much better, with Jagoba Arrasate’s men stuck in 19th and looking for a first win since mid-October, enduring a run of 12 games without victory, though a win over Valencia would see them close the gap to just the single point and make things very interesting near the foot of the table.
- Valencia (vs Alcorcon): Sabater; Correia, Guillamon, Mangala, Lato; Musah, Racic, Koindredi, Guedes; Sobrino, Vallejo.
- Osasuna (vs Espanyol): Perez; Roncaglia, Garcia, Navas, Sanchez; Barja, Calvo, Torro, Jony; Budimir, Gallego.
Jasper Cillessen is still struggling with a hamstring injury so ever-present Jaume Domenech will be restored to Gracia’s XI after Cristian Rivero Sabater was given a run out against Alcorcon in the Copa del Rey. With Kevin Gameiro also struggling with a muscle injury, Maxi Gomez will continue to lead the line in La Liga. For the visitors, Chimy Avila remains a long-term absentee.
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Players to watch:
- Valencia: There has been little to cheer about at Mestalla this season but the continued excellence of local lad Carlos Soler has kept the impetus very much alive at Valencia. The 24-year-old famously netted a hat-trick in a 4-1 win over Real Madrid earlier this campaign and has followed up with an assist in the 2-2 draw at the Camp Nou against Barcelona, as well as bagging the winner last time out against Real Valladolid. His contributions are such that he is one of only two players under the age of 25 to reach a tally of at least 10 direct contributions in La Liga this term (six goals, four assists) alongside Mikel Oyarzabal (11, seven goals and four assists).
- Osasuna: Los Rojillos need a spark of inspiration from somewhere if they are to pull off an upset and clinch three points in this proverbial six-pointer, significantly boosting their chances of survival, and that could come in the form of Mallorca loanee Ante Budimir. The Bosnian forward has recently been dropped and restricted to a fringe role, coming on as a second-half substitute in four of the last five games, but Arrasate may be wise to restore the 29-year-old to his first XI on Thursday, as the only La Liga game in which he has directly contributed to three goals came against Valencia as a Mallorca player in January 2020 (two goals, one assist).
La Liga 2020/21 recent form:
- Valencia: WDLLD
- Osasuna: LDDDD
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