MX23RW : Friday, December 3 09:16:56| >> :600:609416:609416:
Oct 30, 2021 at 5.30pm UK at Mestalla
Guillamon (43'), Soler (77' pen.)
Guillamon (47'), Alderete (63')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Danjuma (53'), Trigueros (73'), Albiol (75'), Chukwueze (79')

Preview: Valencia vs. Villarreal - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's La Liga clash between Valencia and Villarreal, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Two sides disappointed with their seasons so far will come head to head on Saturday evening, when Villarreal make the short trip down the West coast of Spain to face Valencia.

Separated by less than an hour, the two are also near-neighbours in the table, with Villarreal one point and one place behind Valencia.

Match preview

Valencia's Jose Gaya celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on October 17, 2021© Reuters

After the ecstasy brought about from their Europa League triumph over Manchester United last season, Villarreal have struggled to build on their success and currently hover just above the relegation zone.

Dropping down to the Segunda Division is an almost impossible prospect for Unai Emery's side, yet just two wins all season sees them a mere five points clear of 17th-placed Granada.

Villarreal required a 95th-minute equaliser from summer signing Arnaut Danjuma to steal a point against Cadiz in midweek, having trailed 3-1 at one point during the eventual 3-3 draw.

After arriving from Bournemouth, Danjuma has now been involved in five of the last nine Villarreal goals, whilst netting in three of his four appearances at La Ceramica.

It was yet another occasion Villarreal had shared the points, now boasting a division-high six draws from their opening 10 matches.

However, the Cadiz game did bring about an end to their two-match losing streak, that had seen Villarreal downed by Osasuna and Athletic Bilbao in disappointing fashion.

Valencia coach Jose Bordalas on September 19, 2021© Reuters

Similarly, a major issue for Valencia this season has been draws, with the six-time La Liga winners having shared spoils in four league games this season.

Their -1 goal difference is the lowest out of any sides above them, whilst their midweek thumping away to Real Betis was the third consecutive game they had conceded two or more goals in.

One clean sheet in their previous seven matches has not allowed them to build on what was seemingly a positive start to the campaign, where Valencia won three of their first four La Liga games.

A return to winning ways could be on the cards for Jose Bordalas's side, as each of the previous five meetings between the pair in the league have ended in a home victory.

Villarreal remain the last away side to win a clash between the two in La Liga, having prevailed at the Mestalla way back in May 2015.

Valencia La Liga form:
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • L

Villarreal La Liga form:
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • W

Villarreal form (all competitions):
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L

Team News

Villarreal coach Unai Emery reacts on September 25, 2021© Reuters

Danjuma's five goals across all competitions unsurprisingly sees him top the scorers charts for Villarreal, with last season's talisman Gerard Moreno having had a torrid season so far.

Just seven goals shy of his century for Villarreal in La Liga, he is unlikely to reach that milestone any time soon, as the 29-year-old is suffering with a hamstring injury.

That is also the same problem facing Juan Foyth, who is expected to be out until mid-November with a hamstring problem.

Another former Tottenham Hotspur defender in Serge Aurier was brought into the squad to provide cover at right-back for Villarreal, and the 28-year-old could return to the side this weekend.

Valencia are not without their own injury problems themselves, with Maximiliano Gomez a frustrating absentee in attack for the Bats.

Gomez has netted once and provided a further assist for a Valencia forward line short on goals this season, with a muscle problem keeping both him and Antonio Latorre out.

In their absence, expect Valencia to turn to Goncalo Guedes once again – the Portuguese winger has scored three times for Bordalas's men this season.

Valencia possible starting lineup:
Cillessen; Foulquier; Gabriel, Alderete, Gaya; Wass, Guillamon, Guedes, Vazquez; Duro, Andre

Villarreal possible starting lineup:
Asenjo; Mario, Mandi, Torres, Alfonso; Iborra, Trigueros, Parejo; Pino, Alcacer, Danjuma

SM words green background

We say: Valencia 1-1 Villarreal

Neither side can really afford another defeat, meaning this encounter will likely see both sides go for the three points.

Ironically, that could see the pair cancel each other out, so do not be surprised to see another stalemate in a season already full of draws for the two.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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Serge Aurier warms up for Tottenham Hotspur in January 2021
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