Valencia and Atletico Madrid return to La Liga action this weekend when they face eachother at the Estadio Mestalla on Saturday afternoon (3:15pm UK). Both sides have showed promising starts to their campaigns, sitting on four points after two games. Valencia beat Las Palmas on the opening day of the season, before battling to a well deserved draw against champions Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.
Atleti fought back to draw 2-2 against Girona in their first match, before thumping Las Palmas 5-1 last time out, before the international break. With Valencia looking to close the gap on second placed Real Madrid and Atletico needing a win to desperately push themselves away from the relegation zone, few could’ve predicted the result at Vicente Calderon. David Silva broke the deadlock for the away side as he advanced into the box before calmly rounding David de Gea and putting Los Che 1-0 up. Carlos Marchena was then sent off for a handball in the area after 31 minutes and Diego Forlan levelled the score from the penalty spot. Enter the title here‘ Atleti dominated the second half and would have been out of sight if it wasn’t for the outstanding performance of Valencia stopper Cesar Sanchez, as he denied Sergio Aguero and Jose Antonio Reyes superbly in quick succession. Aguero then put the home side ahead with 79 minutes on the clock as they broke the ten men’s resistance. Things went from bad to worse for Unai Emery’s side, as they were reduced to nine men when Miguel was sent off with seven minutes to play.
Forlan and Jose Jurado then added further goals to provide some gloss to the scoreline as Atleti earned a vital three points. There has only ever been two 0-0 draws in the 29 league meeting between the two, so goals should be on the horizon when it comes to the game on Saturday. Atletico have had the better of the recent results over Valencia being unbeaten against them since 2014 when they lost 3-1.
Diego Simeone’s men did the double over Los Che last season winning 3-0 at Vicente Calderon in March and winning 2-0 in October on their last visit to the Mestalla,despite missing two penalties, courtesy of goals from Antoine Griezmann and Kevin Gameiro. Marcelino will be unable to use the services of Nani after the Portuguese international joined Lazio on deadline day. With Ruben Vezo definitely missing the visit of Atleti through injury, but will be boosted by the loan signings of Goncalo Guedes and Andreas Pereira from PSG and Manchester United.