Valencia travel to face Deportivo La Coruna in the Spanish La Liga on Monday night and are favourites to pick up all three points to continue their ascent up the table.
Having gone four games without a win at the start of the season, Valencia have since won three of their last five, and could move into the top-half with a win next week. Have Los Che turned a corner?
Pako Ayestarán departure has yielded a turnaround in form
Valencia’s woeful start to the season saw manager Pako Ayestarán sacked, and his depature led to a change in fortunes for Los Che. Leaving the club on September 20, Valencia would go on to win three of the following five league games in his absence, with the side’s two defeats only coming to Atletico Madrid and Barcelona.
At the time of Pako Ayestarán’s sacking, Valencia were rock bottom in the Spanish La Liga table without a point to their name after four games, having conceded 10 goals for their troubles. Los Che’s form post-Ayestaran would see them 10th in the table, having racked up the same amount of points as Real Madrid (9) in the five games and just one less than Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.
With Valencia winning just two days after the sacking of their manager, it’s clear the players lost faith in their coach. New manager Cesare Prandelli took charge at the Mestella Stadium in October and has won one in his first three games – two of them coming against Atletico & Barca.
Favouring attack over defence is having the desired effect
One major shift from the Valencia side of last year has been them opting for attack over defence. The Spaniards have been coming at teams at the start of this season, a far cry from their reserved and defensive style under Gary Neville. Such an aggressive style is currently working as Valencia have scored two or more goals in five of their last nine league outings.
Valencia do look likely to concede as they have score goals this season, but the supporters are more entertained seeing the Spaniards taking more risks in the final third and trying to outscore the opposition by any means. New-boy Luis Nani (four goals scored and created) is flourishing with the faith shown in him by his manager, and central midfielders Mario Suarez and Daniel Parejo have scored six goals between them to ensure Valencia stay competitive.
There’s still plenty of the season remaining but Los Che are showing signs they can end their years of struggle in the division. Valencia are 7/5 to win against Deportivo La Coruna on Monday night. Are they finally back?