La Liga: Sevilla v Valencia Preview and Team News
It may be too early to call this a six-pointer, but both Sevilla and Valencia will see this as an important game as they are in direct competition for a Champions League place and are currently separated in La Liga by three points.
The proximity of the two sides in the league table has come about in contrasting manner as Sevilla are recovering from a poor start to the season while Valencia are suffering a slide after an excellent start.
Failure to qualify for the Champions League group stage and an early exit from the Super Copa was exacerbated when Seville failed to win their first two home games against La Liga lowlights Deportivo and Racing Santander.
But six wins in the last eight games lifted morale in the Sevilla camp and they bounced straight back from a 5-0 defeat against Barca in the Nou Camp a week Saturday by hammering Karpaty 4-0 in the Europa League on Thursday.
Unai Emery has seen his Valencia side slip from first to fifth after failing to capitalise on home advantage against Mallorca and Real Zaragoza on the back of the unlucky 2-1 defeat in Barcelona.
Valencia’s away form stands up well so far this season, the result at the Nou Camp being the only black spot on an otherwise perfect league record on the road.
Buoyed by the 3-0 win against Rangers in Tuesday’s Champions League game, Emery will believe his side can take three points away from Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan for the first time in six years.
Bookmakers are favouring the home side in the match betting, as can be expected and Valencia can expect a rough ride from a physical Sevilla outfit who are available at odds of 11/8 with Victor Chandler.
But odds better than 2/1 for a result that could go anyway make more appeal and the 23/10 odds available with Boylesports for Valencia to win are sure to be popular.
Former Spurs and West Ham striker Freddie Kanoute sat out the midweek game against Karpaty but is expecting to be recalled for Monday’s game.
He’s enjoying a fruitful period at Sevilla with 76 goals in 153 league appearances and has continued this term scoring at around the one-in-two rate with 3 goals in seven games.
Kanoute can be backed at 13/2 to score the first goal with a handful of bookmakers, including Sporting Bet.
Sevilla coach, Gregario Manzano has been dealt a double blow with news that Tiberia Guarente will be out for six months and first choice goalkeeper Andres Palop will miss the visit of Valencia.
Federico Fazio and Jesus Navas remain sidelined for Sevilla with ankle injuries.
Emery has concerns over the fitness if Aritz Aduriz and Alejandro Domiguez who pulled out of training with muscle problems.