Valencia vs Las Palmas by Jimeno
Valencia had quite terrible previous season and their ending was also ugly, as the team finished Primera Division with three straight defeats and four matches without a victory, ending it at 12th position only, far away from European tickets which was their target and only six points above relegated Rayo Vallecano.
During the pre-season matches the team didn't show stable form, playing mostly openly their matches with some decent moves in attack, but also showing that the defensive lineup remains vulnerable spot for them, since the team conceded in all friendly matches they played - seven games where they had 4-1-2 record, ending the pre-season phase with victory over Fiorentina 2:1 with goals from Rodrigo and Mir, even though they were back in the scoreline from sixth minute when Bernardeschi brought Viola into the lead.
Valencia should be playing in 4-3-3 formation with Mina, Alcacer and Cartabia as forwards, plus Parejo, Perez and Medran behind them most likely. Nani will not be playing in the season opener for Valencia, as well as offensive midfielder Rodrigo. Alvaro Medran will be starting in midfield after his good performances during the pre-season matches. Left full back Guilherme Siqueira is doubtful and probably will not play.
Las Palmas, on the other side, didn't finish the previous season in a best possible way, since the team had three straight matches without a victory, but the fans still can be more than happy with the performances of their players, since they managed to reach 11th position in the end and were actually almost involved in a battle for European spots at some phase. On the other side, relegation battle wasn't a big concern for them in previous season, ending it with six points more than relegating placed Vallecano, but also with a poor run towards the end of the season.
Their target is again to reach safe ending of the season, without much negativity during it, while the pre-season games really spoke in their favor this time. Apart from first defeat to Tenerife at very early stage, they managed to have five consecutive victories against decent sides (Tenerife, Mensajero, Cagliari, Maritimo and La Hoya Lorca), while they drew 1:1 in the last friendly matches before the start of the season last weekend against German side Darmstadt.
Visitors should also be lined up in 4-3-3 formation with Zhar and Viera on the wings and Araujo as central striker, supported with Boateng, Mesa and Lizoain in the midfield. Midfielder Javi Castellano and defensive midfielder Hernan are sidelined due injuries, while central defender Mauricio Lemos will not be playing due suspension, with David Garcia covering him tonight. Michel should be deployed as right back, while slightly doubtful for the game remains Sergio Araujo, but still with more chances to start.
- Valencia have lost their last 3 matches (La Liga).
Las Palmas is coming from really positive preseason matches, similar to Valencia and I believe the game will be one of the most interesting in the first round of Primera. We have two sides which are coming from positive results and should be able to present themselves in quite decent image now, probably both having better season than what was the case in the previous one. Both teams to score is my first option.