Valencia’s Russian left winger Denís Chéryshev (d) celebrates his goal against Athletic during Day 7 of the Primera División. . / Miguel Toña / Archive
Valencia / Bilbao, Jun 30 . .- Valencia will be entrusted to Salvador González « Voro », who will be on the bench after the dismissal of Albert Celades, to try to neutralize a strong Athletic, who has returned after the break with more bellows than the Valencianists.
It will be a match in which both will rush, one more day, their options to compete in Europe next season. Valencia faces it as eighth to a point of Real Sociedad which is seventh, while Athletic is only one place and one point behind, so whoever wins the match will be, for the moment and in the absence of the completion of the day, in European positions.
After having added only four of the fifteen points that have been put into play after the break and after the image of helplessness that the team offered in the trips to Eibar and Villarreal and that some confrontations with players transpired, Valencia decided in the Monday night dismiss Celades and resort to Voro again.
Given the defensive fragility that the team carries, which has only been able to keep the goal to zero in one of the last thirteen games, it is supposed to be the aspect that Voro tries to reconstruct the most.
He will have to do it without José Luis Gayà, who had to withdraw from the La Cerámica field of play due to a muscle injury and who will join Ezequiel Garay on the disabled list, who also will not be a club player this Wednesday, and Cristiano Piccini.
The main doubt refers to the state of Francis Coquelin, who did not play that last game but entered the squad for that match, although it was not expected that he could return to play after his muscle problems until later.
If he’s to play, he can offer one more experience option to Voro in the center of defense alongside Gabriel Paulista. In the event that he will not have to choose between the young Hugo Guillamón and the veteran Eliaquim Mangala, without ruling out that Mouctar Diakhaby has recovered from the physical problems he has suffered ..
Beyond that doubt, Voro has not made great revolutions when he has had to catch the team in other difficult circumstances, so he is expected to maintain the usual 1-4-4-2 and to resort to almost all the heavyweights of the template.
Athletic Club, for its part, intends to storm the European positions it seeks in the return to competition after the stoppage due to the pandemic and this Wednesday in Mestalla, where, if it wins, it would provisionally rise to seventh place in the table .
A situation in which the Bilbao team did not see themselves at this point given the five point disadvantage with which they returned and after a start that despite being good (eight of the fifteen possible points), has not been spectacular either.
However, the clash may be key to those of Gaizka Garitano in their continental ambition since, if they lost, a good part of their options would go away and they would also receive in a psychic situation diametrically opposed to Real Madrid and Seville, who visit San Mamés in the next two days.
Therefore, in Mestalla a full Athletic is expected and without leaving anything to start on the bench. Because also Garitano, little given to extensive rotations, already gave rest to his starting block last Tuesday at the Camp Nou.
Thus, the doubts in the Bilbao starting eleven focus on the companion of Dani García in midfield and on the striker who accompanies Iker Muniain, Raúl García and Iñaki Williams, the two positions that Derio’s have not yet clearly defined.
When playing away from home, it is presumed that it is Mikel Vesga who will accompany Dani García, although Unai López’s good game on Saturday against Mallorca would guarantee its continuity.
In attack, it is possible that Iñigo Córdoba, starter in all the games after the break until he rested against Mallorca, is also an option to take into account the young Oihan Sancet and Asier Villalibre, who are leaving good feelings and goals in the turn after the break.
In defense, insurance will be Unai Simón; Ander Capa, Yeray Álvarez, Iñigo Martínez and Yuri Berchiche. And if Garitano decides to play with three centrals, also the international Unai Núñez.
Valencia: Cillessen, Wass, Mangala or Guillamón, Gabriel Paulista, Jaume Costa, Ferran, Kondogbia, Parejo, Guedes or Carlos Soler, Rodrigo and Maxi.
Athletic: Unai Simón, Capa, Yeray, Iñigo Martínez, Yuri, Dani García, Vesga, Raúl García, Muniain, Córdoba and Williams.
Referee: Estrada Fernández (Catalan school)
Positions: Valencia 8th, 46 points – Athletic 9th, 45
Jaume Costa: « Words don’t work anymore, things are done »
Gaizka Garitano: « The moment of truth arrives in the fight for a European place »
The environment: The crash will arrive less than 48 hours after the dismissal of Albert Celades as coach of Valencia.
The fact: The eighth and ninth classified face each other, separated by a point and with options both of being in Europe next year.