One of the classic La Liga clashes takes place this weekend; Valencia v Barcelona.
Though not a derby as such, it’s not far off, and it’s a match that virtually guarantees goals and moments of the highest quality.
Under Albert Celades, Valencia are still trying to get back to somewhere approaching their best form under Marcelino. They’ve been hit and miss, but are always a dangerous opponent for the Blaugrana. Continue reading →
Valencia boss Marcelino is following his in own path in preparations for the 2019-20 La Liga season, with a low key approach to spending.
Despite securing the financial boost of a second successive Champions League qualification at the back end of the 2018-19 campaign, and the former Villarreal boss is focusing more on players potentially leaving the club, than on new arrivals at the Mestalla.
La Liga champions FC Barcelona have been heavily linked with a €70m bid for Spanish international forward Rodrigo Moreno, with Serie A side AS Roma also reported to be keen on the former Benfica star.
With the debacle at Anfield still fresh in the memory of everyone connected with FC Barcelona, a win against Valencia in the Copa del Rey final was a chance for the Catalans to exorcise those demons.
Against a team who’d beaten them only three times in 11 years, and a coach who’d never triumphed over them in 20 years of trying, Barca realistically only had to turn up to add another trophy to their cabinet.
With the 2018-19 La Liga season over, Valencia CF now can look back over the campaign with satisfaction after pipping Getafe to the post and securing a successive top four domestic finish.
However the close call with missing out on the Champions League caused speculation over the future of boss Marcelino Toral, and the former Villarreal manager will be mindful of the need for a strong start to 2019-20.
Los Che struggled for consistency last season, a factor not helped by injuries and Marcelino’s tinkering with his starting XI – with only three outfield players making over 30 La Liga starts.