Villarreal vs Valencia predictions and match preview for Saturday’s LaLiga fixture. Read on for analysis, team news and predicted lineups ahead of this derby in the Valencian Community.
|Saturday 31st December 2022
|16:15 (local time)
Villarreal vs Valencia Preview
We have a derby clash in the Valencian Community to round off both matchday 15 and 2022 in LaLiga. It’s also the first game this season for Villarreal to take place in the Estadio Ceramica so it’s an important occasion and it’ll be great to see how the stadium looks following extensive redevelopment work.
There are so many subplots here, it’s hard to know where to start, but there will still be plenty of focus on Villarreal’s recently appointed boss Quique Setien. He’s already under pressure after a really poor start and he could do with both a positive performance and result here. In theory, Setien has now had plenty of time to work on implementing his possession-based style on the training ground and we should see a much stronger Villarreal than the one that lost to Mallorca in their last home game.
There wasn’t much sign of that as they limped past minnows Guijuelo in the Copa del Rey last week. Villarreal needed Extra Time to clinch a 2-1 win but it did at least allow them to give a full 120 minutes to Gerard Moreno who is fit again following injury. If they can keep Moreno healthy, Villarreal ought to have a side capable of really pushing for Champions League qualification in the second half of the season but they have ground to make up and would drop below their opponents into 10th place were they to lose this.
Valencia also seek to control possession these days under Gennaro Gattuso and it’s probably fair to say there were more positives than negatives in the first part of the season for Los Che. They went into the break on a real high with a 3-0 win over Real Betis but that did come on the back of a 5 game winless streak which had seen them slip down into mid-table.
It’s difficult to know what the objective should be for Valencia now this season. They are certainly within touching distance of the European places, although there are other teams that look stronger on paper. They also have Copa del Rey and Supercopa football to look forward to in January which offer the opportunity to target silverware.
Team News & Possible Lineups
Possible XI: Rulli – Mojica, Torres, Albiol, Femenia – Parejo, Capoue, Trigueros – Danjuma, Gerard Moreno, Chukwueze (4-3-3)
Coach: Quique Setien
Possible XI: Mamardashvili – Gaya, Diakhaby, Paulista, Correia – Musah, Guillamon, Almeida – Lino, Cavani, Castillejo (4-3-3)
Coach: Gennaro Gattuso
Score Prediction: Villarreal 2-2 Valencia
This could be a really interesting game and it’s going to be interesting to see how Villarreal look in league action after a lengthy mid-season break under Quique Setien’s guidance. Valencia have been relatively positive this season and will sense weakness with Villarreal struggling to pass it out from the back in recent games so a high-pressing approach could yield results and we ought to see a fairly open match with opportunities and goals at both ends.
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