Preview: Espanyol-Valencia

Valencia will have a ninth straight win and Barcelona in their sights when they face Espanyol in La Liga on Sunday.

Espanyol boss Quique Sanchez Flores on Pau Lopez, Sergio Garcia and Oscar Duarte: “Pau’s renewal? I want the best and he’s one of the best.

“It’s something for the club more than any one person, but we don’t want to lose our players because that was the dynamic a while back.

“Garcia wanting more games? I prefer rebellion from my players than them being comfortable.

“We have a great Press team at the club, who read back our interviews in full and not just the headlines, but our players play for what they do, not what they say.

“Duarte’s return from an ACL injury? It was important that he made his comeback with his national team. The injury is behind him, but he’s not at 100 percent yet.”

Valencia boss Marcelino on the revelation that Simone Zaza has a knee injury: “Zaza’s had a partial tear in the external meniscus of his knee for a while.

“Sometimes it’s blocked and he can’t play. He’s okay for now, but at some point he’ll have to undergo surgery. It can’t be cured with rest.

“Other teams? I’d be lying if I said we didn’t look at how our rivals were doing. We’re 11 games in and we want to fight for some objectives at the end of the season.

“Before then, however, what interests us is winning. We’re convinced that it would be more beneficial to the fans if we played against Barca after a win against Espanyol.”

Espanyol (probable): Pau; Victor Sanchez, David Lopez, Naldo, Aaron; Darder, Fuego; Baptistao, Jurado, Piatti; Gerard

Injuries/suspensions: Hermoso (S) Adrian Lopez (I)

Valencia (probable): Neto; Montoya, Garay, Gabriel, Lato; Pereira, Parejo, Kondogbia, Guedes; Rodrigo, Zaza

Injuries/suspensions: Javi Jimenez (I)

Referee: Hernandez Hernandez

Form guide: Espanyol – 13th (L W D D L) Valencia – 2nd (W W W W W)

Previous meeting: Espanyol 0-1 Valencia

Venue: Cornella-El Prat

Kick-off time: 15:15 GMT/16:15 CET

La Liga - Club News