Glory days finally returning for Spanish giants Valencia this term
Los Che currently unbeaten in La Liga
Twice Spanish champions in the early 2000s, things have been less positive for Valencia in recent times.
Financial problems and frequent managerial changes have seen successive 12th-placed finishes in La Liga during the past two seasons, but the good times now look to be well and truly back under manager Marcelino Garcia Toral.
Los Che are unbeaten in their opening eight league games this term, and currently sit in second spot.
Difficult run hasn’t hampered them
In that period, they’ve already faced some of the campaign’s toughest tests. Valencia recorded a clean sheet against Atletico Madrid, as well as recording a 2-2 draw away to Real Madrid – a game they probably deserved to win.
That ability to take down the top sides was a hallmark of Marcelino’s Villarreal side, before he made the summer move to Mestalla Stadium. In four meetings with Real Madrid, the Yellow Submarine managed two draws and a victory.
Striking pair are in stunning form
The Yellow Sumbarine achieved those feats with a far more limited squad than Los Che currently possess. The East Coast club currently boast one of La Liga’s most potent and well-balanced strike pairings – Simone Zaza and Rodrigo.
In Valencia’s last three games, both of those men have netted on each occasion. The powerful, lethal Italian looks unrecognisable from the player who frustrated West Ham United fans last term. Meanwhile, Rodrigo has blossomed as a striker with bags of pace and creativity.
However, their attacking threat extends far beyond those two players. Six different names were on the scoresheet for Valencia in their last game – a 6-3 defeat of Real Betis at Estadio Benito Villamarin.
That’s a Betis side who won 1-0 at the Bernabeu less than a month ago, and had only previously conceded six or more at home once since the turn of the century.
While they’re not 100% solid at the back right now, that could well change soon. New additions Jeison Murillo and Gabriel Paulista are taking time to gel, while centre-back Ruben Vezo’s return from injury shouldn’t be too far away.
A serious title tilt this term remains unlikely, but a continuation of Los Che’s recent good form isn’t.
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