Valencia v Real Sociedad – Mestalla Stadium at 15:15 GMT live at Eleven Sports
Valencia ended Barcelona’s eight-game winning streak last weekend in a pulsating 2-2 draw at the Camp Nou. Los Che flew out of the blocks, with Kevin Gameiro handing them the lead on 24 minutes, and Marcelinho’s men were n dreamland six minutes later as Dani Parejo hammered home a penalty.
Valencianistes joy wasn’t to last, mind. The mercurial Lionel Messi brought Barcelona back into the game before half-time from the spot and the league leaders levelled proceedings soon after the hour mark with Messi again grabbing the goal to ensure the points were shared.
Both sides had chances to win the match in the closing 20 minutes, with Rodrigo and substitute Santi Mina both forcing saves from Marc Ter Stegen as Valencia looked to secure victory against the odds. Despite surrendering their advantage, head coach Marcelinho was understandably pleased with his team’s efforts.
Valencia finding their form
The performance was another indicator to suggest that Valencia were coming close to finding their best form once more. Los Che underwent a frustrating opening to the campaign, playing out eight draws in their first 10 games to leave the club marooned at the lower end of the La Liga standings.
At the Mestalla, Valencia have been particularly effective of late. The hosts have earned 11 points from a possible 15 (W3-D2-L0) and are in the midst of a run of just eight triumphs in their last 10 on home soil across all competitions.
With Sevilla occupying the final Champions League qualification berth, there’s plenty still to play for and Valencia appeal at 1.91 quotes to succeed in their Sunday showdown with Real Sociedad. Los Che are ranked second for Expected Goals (xG) and xG from open play ratio and have the quality to hurt the Basques.
Sociedad can be opposed
Real Sociedad remain unbeaten since Imanol Alguacil took charge of the club after Christmas (W3-D2-L0), although it’s worth noting four of those fixtures came against bottom-half dwellers. La Real have performed with aplomb against the bottom-half (W7-D5-L1) but they’ve struggled against the league’s elite.
Indeed, the visitors have gone W1-D1-L7 when taking on top-half teams this term, and have been beaten in nine of 12 winless trips to top-half teams even when excluding Barcelona and Real Madrid of late. The Basques may come up short at the Mestalla once more.
Азиатский гандикап Betting Recommendation: Valencia -0.50 at 1.910
Предварительный просмотр: @MarkOHaire.
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