Osasuna boss Jose Luis Mendilibar has warned against taking Valencia lightly because of their recent difficulties.
Whereas Mendilibar’s side are enjoying an upturn in fortunes, going four unbeaten and edging their way out of the relegation zone, Saturday’s opponents are still coming to terms with the sacking of Mauricio Pellegrino, the hiring of Ernesto Valverde and some bitter infighting.
“The game is going to be complicated,” the former Real Valladolid trainer commented to journalists this afternoon. “Anyone who thinks it’s going to be easy, I don’t know what world you live in. They have qualified for the next phase of the Champions League and are more relaxed. The last 16 isn’t till February so they can focus on the League and the Cup.”
Mendilibar, , who repeated his claim that Rayo Vallecano are the best side Osasuna have met this season , also discussed the fact that this is the first of two meetings between the clubs at El Sadar in four days, a Copa del Rey last 16 tie to come on Tuesday.
“The most important game is the first. Whether it’s League or Cup, we will surely do better in the second if we win.”