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Jun 28, 2020 at 4pm UK at Estadio de la Ceramica
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Preview: Villarreal vs. Valencia - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's La Liga clash between Villarreal and Valencia, including team news and predicted lineups.

Villarreal will be looking to boost their hopes of sneaking into the top four in La Liga when they welcome Valencia to Estadio de la Ceramica on Sunday afternoon.

The Yellow Submarine are currently sixth in the table, five points behind fourth-placed Sevilla, while Valencia occupy eighth position, two points behind their opponents this weekend.

Match preview

Villarreal's Pau Torres in action against Barcelona in La Liga on September 24, 2019© Reuters

Villarreal have been in excellent for since resuming their 2019-20 campaign earlier this month, collecting 10 points from their four matches to rise up the table.

Indeed, Javi Calleja's side beat Celta Vigo, Mallorca and Granada 1-0 before playing out a 2-2 draw with fourth-placed Sevilla on Monday night.

The Yellow Submarine are just five points off the top four at this stage, while they are only a point behind fifth-placed Getafe as the race for a European spot enters its latter stages.

Villarreal finished fourth, fifth and fifth in La Liga between 2015 and 2018 before claiming 14th last term, which was a huge disappointment for a club of their standing.

The team's recent form has aided suggestions that they could sneak into the top four, though, and another positive result this weekend would leave their fans dreaming of a return to the Champions League.

Geoffrey Kondogbia pictured ahead of a Champions League match for Valencia in November 2019© Reuters

Valencia, meanwhile, have only picked up four points from their four games since returning to action on June 12, losing to both Real Madrid and Eibar, in addition to drawing with Levante and beating Osasuna.

Los Che, as mentioned, currently sit eighth in the table, seven points off the top four, while they are two points off sixth-placed Villarreal ahead of this weekend's contest.

The former Spanish champions have finished fourth in each of their last two La Liga seasons, but a lot will have to fall their way in the final weeks for them to claim a Champions League spot for the 2020-21 campaign.

Valencia have won their last two league games against Villarreal, including a 2-1 victory in the reverse match at the Mestalla earlier this season, although the pair played out a 0-0 draw in the corresponding clash last term.

Villarreal La Liga form: LLWWWD

Valencia La Liga form: WDDLWL
Valencia form (all competitions): DLDLWL

Team News

Valencia's Ezequiel Garay pictured in September 2019© Reuters

Villarreal will be without the services of both Manu Trigueros and Alberto Moreno due to the yellow cards that the pair picked up during the 2-2 draw with Sevilla last time out.

Ramiro Funes Mori and Ramiro Guerra are both still injured, meanwhile, but there could be another appearance off the bench for Bruno, who had been out for more than three years through injury before featuring on Monday.

There are not expected to be too many changes from the XI that started last time out, although Carlos Bacca will come into Calleja's thinking for a spot in the final third of the field.

As for Valencia, Mouctar Diakhaby, Francis Coquelin, Cristiano Piccini and Ezequiel Garay remain on the sidelines, while Eliaquim Mangala is suspended due to the red card that he picked up against Eibar.

Albert Celades is expected to shuffle his pack from the side that started on Thursday night, with Kevin Gameiro, Alessandro Florenzi and Jaume Costa all in line for starts.

Villarreal possible starting lineup:
Asenjo; Mario, Albiol, Torres, Quintilla; Cazorla, Anguissa, Iborra; Moreno, Bacca, Alcacer

Valencia possible starting lineup:
Cillessen; Florenzi, Gabriel, Costa, Gaya; Parejo, Kondogbia; Torres, Guedes, Soler; Gameiro

Sports Mole Logo

We say: Villarreal 2-1 Valencia

The fact that Villarreal have not played since Monday is a huge advantage for the home side, particularly considering that Valencia had a tough game away to Eibar on Thursday. Both teams will fancy their chances of picking up a positive result, but we are backing the Yellow Submarine to triumph.

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