Ernesto Valverde doesn’t know who he will be playing at centre-back for Valencia, ahead of a derby with Levante that has ‘no favourites’.
Los Che host their city neighbours five places and seven points ahead of them in the table. However, sitting next to Levante Coach Juan Ignacio Martinez in a joint Press conference, Valverde was highly respectful of Saturday night’s opponents.
“From the outside it always seems that the one further ahead is the favourite,” began the tactician.
“But seen from within, this consideration is not taken into account because the emotional factor is above that. Levante are in a good moment in general.”
Without Ricardo Costa and Adil Rami through injury, Valverde has tried left-back Jeremy Mathieu and central midfielder David Albelda at centre-back alongside Victor Ruiz this week in training.
“Who will I play at centre-back? Yes, there are players in the reserves that could come with us, but I also like to use alternatives within my own team. It’s a tough game, it’s a derby.
“Mestalla atmosphere? I’m not worried, whilst this is a derby. The fans have to be with us and they will be.
“We also have to give something to the fans and this will be achieved through our play.”
Valverde has so far not signed a new contract with the club, with his current deal expiring in the summer.
“I will continue on the same terms as in previous weeks. Valencia have told me they are happy with me and I have told them I am comfortable working here.
“The only thing I said is that the atmosphere at Valencia is a but combustible. And it was decided that we will wait and see as to who continues at the club [at board level] on the upcoming dates.”