NEWS
Saturday December 23 2017
Preview: Valencia-Villarreal

The Clasico isn’t the only derby being played in La Liga on Saturday as Valencia and Villarreal contest the Derbi de la Comunitat straight after.

Valencia boss Marcelino on the possible return of Joao Cancelo and his exit from Villarreal: “We’ll address the topic of signings after this game.

“Cancelo’s an Inter player and he’ll only be able to come back if Inter decide to let go of him.

“If he doesn’t play for Inter, he won’t be able to play for another team this season and that benefits us, but everything depends on Inter.

“When I left [Villarreal], the bar was quite high. I left a week before they played in the Champions League playoffs.

“However, their squad has been strengthened and their budget has increased. They have a very good board and signed some decent players.”

Villarreal boss Javi Calleja on the threat posed by their regional rivals and Atletico Madrid target Rodri Hernandez: “I know it’ll be tough against our opponents because they’re one of the best teams in the League.

“The match is special because it’s a derby against a Valencia side that are having an extraordinary season, picking up good results and still haven’t lost at home.

“It’s a very difficult and special match because it’ll be contested by two teams in the region with a healthy rivalry.

“Rodri? He’ll defend this shirt to death for as long as he’s a Villarreal player.”

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

Injuries/suspensions: Murillo, Soler, Javi Jimenez (I)

Villarreal (probable): Asenjo; Mario, Alvaro, Victor Ruiz, Jaume; Raba, Trigueros, Rodri, Fornals; Bacca, Bakambu

Injuries/suspensions: Andres Fernandez, Sansone, Ruben Semedo, Bonera, Bruno, Leo Suarez (I)

Referee: Trujillo Suarez

Form guide: Valencia – 3rd (L W L D W) Villarreal – 6th (W L L L D)

Previous meeting: Valencia 1-3 Villarreal

Venue: Mestalla

Kick-off time: 15:15 GMT/16:15 local time

See the latest La Liga predictions and betting tips with Eurotips.co.uk

Football Italia website