Granada vs Valencia: Soldado’s Intriguing Reunion
Roberto Soldado was once apart of Valencia’s squad back in 2010 to 2013. Mestalla was the place where he was in the peak of his career in Spain before moving to Tottenham Hostpur. No wonder that it was always a memorable one for the former Spanish international. The 35-year old striker stayed with Los Ches for three years, longer than the average period in the other teams before landing at Granada this season such as Osasuna, Getafe, Spurs, Villareal and Fenerbahce. This weekend he will be leading his team which has been quite a stunning dark horse this season to face off Valencia, which is currently not at their best. Both are in the mid table position with Granada on the ninth and Valencia on the tenth with the same exact points. Their chance to qualify to Europa League play off is still open as well. No wonder that this edition’s reunion with his former club is intriguing for Soldado.
On the midweek fixture, Granada managed to steal a maximum points while taking on Alaves. They crushed the host 2-0 by the goals of Antonin and the senior striker Roberto Soldado. It was their second win since the lockdown and helped them stay on the race for European spots.
On the other hand, Valencia failed again to secure points while hosting Athletic Bilbao. They were thrashed 0-2. Raul Garcia, who played as a false nine, netted a brace. Such result brought them to the seventh of the table and apparently was not a good start for the Los Ches’ caretaker Salvador ‘Vorro’ Gonzalez.
Missing players and probable lineups
Diego Martinez seems to opt for employing various formations from 5-4-1, 3-4-2-1 or 3-4-3. He mainly relies on Carlos Fernandez or the former Valencia and Tottenham front man, Roberto Soldado as the target man supported by Antonio Puertas and Darwin Machis. Unfortunately, several key men will be sidelined for this game including Maxime Gonalons, Antonio Martinez, Alvaro Vadillo, Quini, Rui Silva, Neyder Lozano and Angel Montoro. The 4-3-2-1 formation seems more suitable this time.
Granada: Aaron Escandell; Victor Diaz, German Sanchez, Carlos Neva, Domingos Duarte ; Yangel Herrera, Dmitri Folquier, Yan Eteki ; Antonio Puertas, Darwin Machis ; Carlos Fernandez.
The caretaker Voro, on the other hand, might be modifying his predecessor 4-4-2 formation to 5-3-2 as it is more suitable for the team. The disappointing form of Maxi Gomez who missed a number of opportunities in the previous match, should be sidelined. Denis Cheryshev seems to be deserved to earn being in the starting IX alongside Kevin Garniero or Carlos Guedes, as Rodrigo Moreno is ruled out for this outing alongside with Ferran Torres, Jose Gaya and Christian Piccini.
Valencia: Jasper Cillessen; Gabriel Paulista, Ezequiel Garay, Mouctar Diakhaby, Daniel Wass, Jaume Costa ; Dani Parejo, Alessandro Florenzi, Frances Coquelin ; Denis Cheryshev, Carlos Guedes.
In the head-to-head meetings, Valencia have been the superior side. They have won four times with only one draw, while Granada has been able to win once only in the last six encounters.
The turmoil in Valencia after the dismissal of Albert Celades might be taken advantage by Diego Martinezs men to seal another win at home. Roberto Soldado might have a mixed feeling facing off his former club but with Darwin Machis and Carlos Fernandez on his side, they should be able to secure a narrow win, unless Los Ches under Vorro could come up with a stunning system of play. The ideal result for both would be a draw.
Where to watch
International TV channels:
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