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Preview: Valencia vs. Alaves - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Valencia vs. Alaves - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's La Liga clash between Valencia and Alaves, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Valencia will be looking to end a run of four La Liga games without a victory when they continue their domestic campaign at home to Alaves on Saturday evening.

Los Che, who suffered a 3-1 defeat at Osasuna on Wednesday, are currently 14th in the table, eight points clear of the relegation zone, while Alaves occupy 16th position in Spain's top flight.

Match preview

Valencia have not finished lower than 12th in Spain's top flight since the 1987-88 campaign, but they are currently 14th in the table, having picked up just 35 points from 32 matches.

There is no getting away from the fact that it has been a desperately disappointing season for Los Che, who are only eight points clear of the relegation zone.

Unless something drastic happens, Javi Gracia's side are not going to be relegated, but they are currently on a run of four matches without a victory, including a 3-1 loss at Osasuna on Wednesday evening.

The six-time Spanish champions are only four points behind ninth-placed Granada and have been relatively strong on home soil this term, picking up 24 points from 15 games while suffering just three defeats.

Valencia also recorded a 2-1 win when the pair last met at Mestalla in October 2019, but the last two league matches between the two sides have finished level, including a 2-2 draw earlier this season.

Alaves, meanwhile, will enter this weekend's contest off the back of successive victories over Huesca and Villarreal, which have moved them out of the relegation zone.

The Basque outfit are currently 16th in the table, three points clear of the bottom three, and another win this weekend would give their hopes of survival a huge boost.

Alaves have only lost two of their last six in Spain's top flight, but they have found it difficult on their travels this term, winning just twice, collecting only 10 points from 15 matches, which is the second-worst record in the division.

El Glorioso sacked Abelardo Fernandez earlier this month after slipping to the bottom of the table, but new head coach Javier Calleja has made a strong start to his reign, and the 42-year-old, who has previously been in charge of Villarreal, will be looking to make it four league games unbeaten this weekend.

Valencia La Liga form:
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • L

Alaves La Liga form:
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • W

Team News

Valencia will again be without the services of Thierry Correia this weekend through injury, meaning that there could be a start for Daniel Wass at right-back, while Dutch goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen is still absent.

Los Che are hopeful that Carlos Soler will shake off a knock in time for the contest, and Gracia's squad will also be boosted by the return of Maxi Gomez, who served a suspension against Osasuna.

Yunus Musah could again be handed a start on the right, while Denis Cheryshev and Goncalo Guedes should also feature in attacking positions for the home team.

As for Alaves, Rodrigo Ely, Ruben Duarte and Inigo Cordoba are all out of the contest through injury.

Head coach Calleja could ultimately decide to select the same side that started Wednesday's impressive victory over Villarreal, where Joselu and Edgar Mendez were both on the scoresheet.

Lucas Perez should again join Joselu in the final third of the field, while Tomas Pina and Rodrigo Battaglia are expected to continue in the middle of the park for the in-form visitors.

Valencia possible starting lineup:
Domenech; Wass, Paulista, Diakhaby, Gaya; Musah, Soler, Racic, Cheryshev; Gomez, Guedes

Alaves possible starting lineup:
Pacheco; Navarro, Laguardia, Lejeune, Aguirregabiria; Jota, Battaglia, Pina, Rioja; Perez, Joselu

We say: Valencia 2-2 Alaves

Valencia, despite their troubles this term, have a squad full of talent, one which is capable of triumphing in any match at this level of football. Alaves have been impressive under their new head coach, though, and we are backing the visitors to secure a share of the spoils at Mestalla.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or draw in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Draw:data

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