Thursday, March 30, 2017

Prediction: Valencia vs Granada

Valencia desperately need to get their season back on track after a disappointing run and home game against struggling Granada would seem a perfect opportunity to do so. After giving a good account of themselves in the 1-0 defeat to Real Madrid, los Rojiblancos were hammered at home by Real Sociedad and now face an uphill task in an attempt to avoid fourth straight loss.

Valencia had been pretty impressive last season, warding off challenge from very good Sevilla side to secure a place in the Champions League play-offs and they did well to pip Monaco to a place in the group stages. But, things started taking the wrong turn when Nicolas Otamendi was sold to Manchester City, and it looks as though summer recruits Aymen Abdennour and Aderllan Santos will need time to prove they can make the grade in Spanish La Liga. The reality is that the back line has not been so disappointing given that they kept two clean sheets in last four, but with the likes of Alcacer, Rodrigo and Negredo all struggling for form, it is hardly surprising the results have been pretty disappointing. Nevertheless, Valencia showed glimpses of quality in the opening exchanges and everybody can see that the team have plenty of room for improvement, so we do believe the match against weak Granada will be the moment when they turn it around. The hosts will be without Jose Luis Gaya, Andre Gomes, Diego Alves and Matthew Ryan, but Sofiane Feghouli and Paco Alcacer should be recalled to the starting line-up.

Granada were the team that pulled off a great escape last season as they somehow managed to take ten points from last four league games and narrowly avoided the drop due to better head to head record vs Eibar. The club did sign a number of players in the summer transfer window hoping to avoid another relegation tussle, but the first signs have not been very good. Oddly enough, the team continued with excellent performances on the road, winning their third straight away game in the league before only losing 1-0 to Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu. However, three heavy defeats in as many home matches saw Granada return to the relegation zone, hardly an unfamiliar place for Jose Ramon Sandoval’s side, and it won’t be easy for them to escape the bottom three after the clash at Mestalla, despite the fact that Valencia are now playing to their potential at the moment. Los Rojiblancos are simply leaking too many goals at the moment and we cannot see them finding a magic cure for the shaky back line. The good news is that Dimitri Foulquier and Uche Agbo are back in contention, but Piti, Diego Mainz and Ruben Perez continue to miss out.

Conclusion

Valencia may have been in problems of late, but they have enough quality and experience to turn things round, unlike their next opponents. Granada have been utterly disappointing this season and we seriously doubt they can get anything from Mestalla.

Verdict: Valencia/Valencia

Best Odds: 6/5

Bookmaker: William Hill

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