Valencia welcome La Liga rivals Villarreal for a behind closed doors club friendly at the Oliva Nova Beach & Golf Resort football on Friday afternoon (17:30 UK time)
This is a repeat of a meeting last summer when Valencia ran out 2-1 winners courtesy of a brace from Maxi Gomez whilst Samuel Chukweze pulled one back for El Submarino Amarillo.
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Where to watch Valencia vs Villarreal on TV:
- UK: N/A
- US: ESPN3
Scoreline prediction: Valencia 2-2 Villarreal
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Valencia vs Villarreal build-up & previous line-ups
Last season was one not to remember for Valencia and their supporters. Los Che finished in mid-table and just nine points above the dropzone. It’s a far cry from the days when they rubbed shoulders with Europe’s giants. Expectation of the forthcoming campaign is understandably low, but there’s a desire to grow knowing if they don’t, those exciting talents at their disposal could be looking for greener pastures. After facing La Liga rivals Villarreal they’ll play five more club friendlies — including against newly-minted Premier League club Brentford — before getting their 2021/22 league campaign underway at Granada on August 21.
After ending their La Liga campaign in seventh, Unai Emery’s men secured Champions League football by defeating Manchester United in the Europa League final. It was a momentous occasion for the Yellow Submarine as this success represented their first European prize. Villarreal last dined at Europe’s top table in 2011/12 when they found themselves in a group with Bayern Munich, Napoli and Manchester City ultimately finishing bottom after losing all their matches. They’ll be hoping to do much better and in preparation for their upcoming Super Cup clash against Chelsea they’ve lined up some interesting friendly opponents starting this evening.
- Valencia (vs Huesca): Cillessen; Correia, Diakhaby, Guillamón, Paulista, Lato; Lee, Racic, Soler, Guedes; Gómez.
- Villarreal (vs Man Utd): Rulli; Foyth, Albiol, Torres, Pedraza; Pino, Capoue, Parejo, Trigueros; Moreno, Bacca.
Player to watch: Manu Vallejo (Valencia)
Still uncapped at international level 24-year-old Valencia midfielder Carlos Soler goes into the new season as his club’s most important player. He finished as their leading marksman last term with 11 goals and that wasn’t all Soler was also Los Che‘s most creative player having created no fewer than eight La Liga goals. He will not be on hand during this pre-season as he’s preparing to represent Spain at the Olympic games. This presents an opportunity for compatriot Manu Vallejo to shoulder some burden and subsequently hit the ground running, the centre-forward finished with a paltry five goals last term which gives him a personal target to surpass.