Will the negative streak be broken tonight?
Valencia are on great form and we need to be on our best to get a positive result out of this one. With the way we’ve been playing and without our 2 hard fighting and experienced CB’s and N’Zonzi, a draw would be golden, but at the same time would mean that top 4 battle would be extremely hard to achieve. A win and it will miraculously keep us in the pace for the 4th. A loss… EL here we come.
Valencia is currently our direct rival for the 4th, but the next league match vs. a surprisingly in-form Leganes is also important.
Not sure what to expect regarding the formation, but one hint is that Mudo and Banega will start together as pointed by Berizzo in a press statement.
So I’d go with:
Soria (yes, let’s give him a chance, Rico needs to rest after that debacle on Wednesday)
Corchia - Mercado - Kjaer/Lenglet - Escudero
Pizarro - Banega Mudo
Mercado needs to be fielded at CB so that he gets used to it a bit, as who knows how long will Pareja and Carrico be out, so just in case. Also neither of Kjaer/Lenglet were too convincing in the last debacle, so either of them could start, though I’d prefer Kjaer a bit more if he is 100% fit for this one, if not then Lenglet.
Escudero had a weak match vs. Spartak both defenisvely and in the attack, so if Berizzo wants to defend a bit more then put on Christmas Carole why the hell not. There should be a strict rule that whoever performs badly is out of the first team, no excuses.
Any experiment or weird decision would be understandable, however, if WBY will once again start ahead of Muriel, then Berizzo is definitely not a serious coach and will need to step out.