Preview: Deportivo La Coruna – Valencia

Matches Preview

The distance between the coastal cities of La Coruna and Valencia is about 500 miles, but their football battles across the years have created a fierce rivalry that almost feels like a local derby.

 

Flashscore presents the key facts before the match:

It all began on 14 May 1994 when Valencia, who had nothing to play for, held Deportivo to a goalless draw at the Riazor and prevented the Galician side from claiming their first-ever La Liga (LL) title. There were rumours at the time that Valencia had been given a financial incentive by Barcelona, who ended up winning the championship.

Deportivo and Valencia have enjoyed contrasting fortunes in the first half of the LL season. Deportivo are currently 17th in the table (16pts, W4, D4, L10), just one point above the drop zone. As for Valencia, they sit third on a brilliant 37 points (W11, D4, L3) after 18 games in Marcelino Garcia Toral’s first season in charge, although they have lost their previous two games away from home (Getafe and Eibar).

Saturday’s clash will be the 91st top-flight meeting between the sides (Deportivo 25 wins, 20 draws, Valencia 45 wins). Valencia have failed to win away in the league at Deportivo since January 2013, drawing two and losing one since then.

Valencia’s points tally (37) is just three points short of their best-ever tally after 18 games in their LL history (40 under Rafa Benitez in 2003/04). The Ches’ 38 goals scored is their highest goal tally at this stage of a top-flight campaign since the 1966/67 season.

Players to watch: Deportivo’s top scorer in 2017 with nine goals, Florin Andone, scored his side’s first goal of 2018, a last-gasp equaliser to rescue a 1-1 draw at Villarreal last Sunday. Valencia have just completed the signing of Francis Coquelin from Arsenal, and the defensive midfielder could make his LL debut this weekend.

Stat attack: Valencia are the side with the best shot conversion ratio in LL this season (21.8% to Deportivo’s 8.6%). Marcelino’s men have scored more goals from the spot (five) than any other side.

 

Missing players

Deportivo La Coruna: J. Bicho (shoulder injury), F. Cartabia (groin injury), Adrian (doubtful), G. Valentin (doubtful), F. Valverde (doubtful)

Valencia: J. Jimenez (knee injury), J. Murillo (groin injury), C. Soler (doubtful).