Valencia vs. Espanyol: Both sides looking for a vital victory
Image via valenciacf.com

Valencia still have not had the best of starts to their La Liga campaign and coming off of a nil-nil draw with Real Betis, they now take on Espanyol, who are level on points with their hosts.

Form

As mentioned up above, Nuno’s men have struggled in the early parts of this season, yet, somehow sit in seventh on five points after four matches. Their most recent result was a bit of a lull.

Taking on a newly promoted side, who recently gave up six goals to Real Madrid, you would expect a talented side like Valencia to really bang in the goals. They did just that by managing 12 goals on target but not one getting behind Adán as the 28-year-old goalkeeper stopped each one.

Espanyol are level on points with today’s hosts but have a far less goal differential having given up an astounding six goals to Real Madrid, five of them to Cristiano Ronaldo.

Their two wins, however, have been good performances against decent opposition. The first was on the opening match day against Getafe, earning a 1-0 shutout. After taking a 1-2 advantage against Real Sociedad with goals from Gerard Moreno scoring from the spot, before Enzo Andia scored in the 71st minute. David Moyes’ side scored with two minutes remaining but it was Hernan Pérez who salvaged three points at the death for the visiting team.

Key Players

With both the first and second-choice goal keepers out, Jaume Doménech has been called into action and has performed miraculously over his first couple of matches, bar letting three goas in against Zenit St. Petersburg in his first Champions League match.

If Valencia are going to be at the level they were at last season, Doménech will have to keep up his level of play while he is the number one shot stopper. When there is confidence in the back four, that will allow the likes of Paco Alcacer and the other forwards more confidence going forward knowing that if they make a mistake that the back line will clean it up.

Espanyol’s Felipe Caicedo scored nine in his return to a top five European league. He scored in the fifth minute of the second match of the new season, but has yet to produce the quality he is capable of in the final third since then.

Luckily, Caicedo is not the only goal scorer on Espanyol. Two other forwards have found the back of the net, making the workload for the Ecuadorian.

Prediction

This is going to be a very tight affair with both sides needing a victory to stay near a European spot. No one will want to make the first mistake and thus, do not expect many goals. 

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