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LaLiga preview: Valencia vs. Osasuna (Thu - 19:00h. CET; 18:00h. GMT) - Team news, possible lineups

Valencia play host to Osasuna on Thursday evening looking to build on claiming four points from their last two La Liga fixtures.

Meanwhile, Osasuna make the trip to the Mestalla sitting in the relegation zone after failing to win any of their last 12 matches in Spain's top flight.

Match preview

Given the club's well-documented financial issues, Javi Gracia was never expected to have Valencia competing for a top-six spot during his first season in charge.

However, it has taken a 1-0 win over Real Valladolid to move Valencia away from the bottom three, at least in the short term with just three points separating Los Che and 18th-placed Elche.

The victory, which came courtesy of a late Carlos Soler goal, was recorded in between two triumphs in the Copa del Rey, and there is finally a feeling that his side is heading in the right direction.

While performances have rarely been much of an issue, their recent success at Valladolid was their first in nine La Liga matches, leaving Gracia full of optimism ahead of another important game.

Nevertheless, with trips to Atletico Madrid, Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid to come before the middle of February, Valencia cannot afford to lose to opponents who have struggled to stay in the mix.

Without a league win since October 24, Jagoba Arrasate will feel fortunate to still be in a job, but he will remain confident that his players will eventually deliver the results that are required to avoid relegation.

Even though a goalless draw with Real Madrid was followed by a defeat at Granada, comfortably overcoming Espanyol in the Copa del Rey has lifted the mood behind the scenes.

Osasuna head into the game at the Mestalla with the second-worst away record in the division, registering just six points and seven goals in nine matches.

However, Valencia have prevailed in just two of the fixtures at their home ground this season, something which will not be lost on Arrasate and his players.

Valencia La Liga form: DDLLDW
Valencia form (all competitions): LLDWWW

Osasuna La Liga form: LDDDDL
Osasuna form (all competitions): DDWDLW

Team News

Arrasate could hand a recall to Kike Barja after he netted his second Copa del Rey goal in as many games against Espanyol.

Ante Budimir is also pushing for an opportunity ahead of Jonathan Calleri, who has failed to score in his last two La Liga outings.

Having made changes for the cup tie at Alcorcon, Gracia may revert to the team which defeated Valladolid on January 10.

That would see the likes of Eliaquim Mangala and Yunus Musah having to make do with a place on the substitutes' bench.

They could be joined by Goncalo Guedes, who is available again after serving a suspension.

Valencia possible starting lineup:
Domenech; Correia, Diakhaby, Guillamon, Gaya; Wass, Soler, Racic, Cheryshev; Kang-in, Gomez

Osasuna possible starting lineup:
Herrera; Roncaglia, Navas, U.Garcia, Cruz; Barja, Sanjurjo, Moncayola, Jony; Garcia; Budemir

Source: Sports Mole / Darren Plant 

 

 

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