MX23RW : Wednesday, December 2 11:51:26| >> :120:62451:62451:
Oct 18, 2020 at 3pm UK at Estadio de la Cerámica
Alcacer (6' pen.), Parejo (69')
Iborra (12'), Pedraza (52'), Kubo (72')
Kubo (90+2')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Guedes (37')
Paulista (84')

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 continue their encouraging start to the 2020-21 La Liga campaign when they welcome Valencia to Estadio de la Ceramica on Sunday afternoon.

The Yellow Submarine are currently fourth in Spain's top flight with eight points to show from their five league matches this season, while Valencia sit eighth, having collected seven points from their five fixtures.

Match preview

Lionel Messi celebrates scoring for Barcelona against Villarreal on September 27, 2020© Reuters

Villarreal picked up four points from their first two league games of the season at home to Huesca and Eibar before suffering a 4-0 defeat away to Barcelona on September 27.

The Yellow Submarine have been impressive in their last two matches, though, beating Alaves 3-1 at the end of September before holding Atletico Madrid to a 0-0 draw at the Wanda Metropolitano last time out.

Villarreal finished fifth in Spain's top flight last term, and they will be looking to close the gap on the top four this season, particularly considering their business in the summer transfer market.

Unai Emery's side spent big on Watford's Pervis Estupinan, while Francis Coquelin and Dani Parejo actually both joined the club from Valencia, with the latter arriving on a free transfer.

Villarreal will begin their Europa League group-stage campaign at home to Turkish side Sivasspor on October 22, and the club will want to enter the European game off the back of a domestic win.

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

As for Valencia, it would be fair to say that all is not well at the club, with head coach Javi Gracia recently revealing that he wants to leave the Mestalla and is only remaining in his position due to a contractual obligation.

Gracia is unhappy at the lack of investment in the squad over the summer, while the likes of Parejo, Coquelin, Ferran Torres, Rodrigo Moreno, Cristiano Piccini and Ezequiel Garay all moved on.

French midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia has since hit out at the club's chairman Anil Murthy on social media, claiming that the 47-year-old has "destroyed an ambitious project".

Results have been mixed in the early stages of the 2020-21 campaign; the season started with a 4-2 win over Levante before losing to Celta Vigo and drawing at home to Huesca in their next two.

Los Che then recorded a 1-0 win over Real Sociedad at the end of September before losing at home to Real Betis before the international break, and it is difficult to know what to expect on a week-to-week basis.

Villarreal La Liga form: DWLWD

Valencia La Liga form: WLDWL

Team News

Alberto Moreno in action for Villarreal on February 23, 2020© Reuters

Villarreal will be without the services of Estupinan and Alberto Moreno through injury, meaning that Alfonso Pedraza should feature at left-back for the Yellow Submarine.

Spain international Gerard Moreno is also out with a hamstring issue, which could see Paco Alcacer lead the line against his former club. Coquelin, though, faces a late fitness test as he bids to appear against his former side.

Moi Gomez and Samuel Chukwueze are in line to feature in the final third of the field, while Parejo and Vicente Iborra could feature in midfield for the home side.

As for Valencia, Gabriel Paulista has recovered from injury and should start in the middle of the defence, but Eliaquim Mangala is still struggling with a hamstring issue.

Thierry Correia is likely to be given another opportunity at right-back, meanwhile, and Kondogbia should also be fit to start in the middle of the park despite struggling with a knock.

Carlos Soler, meanwhile, made his first appearance of the season as a substitute against Betis and could now come into the XI, with Maxi Gomez set to lead the line with support from Lee Kang-in.

Villarreal possible starting lineup:
Asenjo; Gaspar, Albiol, Torres, Pedraza; Trigueros, Parejo, Iborra; Moi Gomez, Alcacer, Chukwueze

Valencia possible starting lineup:
Domenech; Correia, Paulista, Diakhaby, Gaya; Wass, Kondogbia; Soler, Kang-in, Guedes; Maxi Gomez

SM words green background

We say: Villarreal 2-1 Valencia

There is no downplaying the importance of this match for both sides, particularly Valencia after what has transpired over the international break. Los Che are capable of making it a very difficult game for the hosts, but we fancy Villarreal to pick up all three points to continue their strong start.

Top betting 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


Who will win Sunday's La Liga clash between Villarreal and Valencia?

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