The 2020-21 edition of La Liga kicks off this weekend and Valencia take on arch-rivals Levante in the first fixture of their new season. The 'Derby del Turia' is one of the most fiercely-fought fixtures in Spanish football and the fact that both teams have transformed over the transfer window makes this game an intriguing prospect.
Valencia have lost plenty of key players to rival La Liga clubs this summer. With the likes of Dani Parejo and Francis Coquelin making the switch to Villarreal, Valencia will have to dig deep into their squad to meet their fans' expectations and finish in the La Liga top four this season.
Levante finished the 2019-20 La Liga season in twelfth place but will be confident against a Valencia side that has not been at its best in the recent past. Levante are a robust and well-drilled outfit on their day and can trouble their local rivals on Sunday.
Valencia vs Levante Head-to-Head
Valencia have always been the dominant force in this derby and have won 12 games out of a total of 24 fixtures played between the two rivals. Levante have won only five games and will see this Sunday's game as the perfect opportunity to improve their record.
Valencia and Levante played a friendly at the Mestalla two weeks ago and the game ended in a 0-0 stalemate. Both teams withheld their best starting eleven and this weekend's game should make for more of a spectacle.
Valencia form guide: W-D-W-W-L
Levante form guide: W-W-W-D-W
Valencia vs Levante Team News
Valencia have several key injuries to account for and while most of their stars on their path to recovery, the likes of Jasper Cillessen and Kevin Gameiro may not feature in the starting eleven for this game.
Doubtful: Jasper Cillessen, Kevin Gameiro, Toni Lato
Levante have major injury concerns of their own and will be unable to field Roger Marti, Ruben Rochina, and Cheick Doukoure against Valencia. Ruben Vezo has picked up a few niggles over the past few weeks and remains a doubt for this game.
Injured: Roger Marti, Ruben Rochina, Cheick Doukoure
Doubtful: Ruben Vezo
Valencia vs Levante Predicted XI
Valencia Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Jaume Domenech; Jose Gaya, Eliaquim Mangala, Gabriel Paulista, Daniel Wass; Geoffrey Kondogbia, Uros Racic; Goncalo Guedes, Lee Kang-In, Manu Vallejo; Maxi Gomez
Levante Predicted XI (4-4-2): Aitor Fernandes; Carlos Clerc, Oscar Duarte, Rober Pier, Jorge Miramon; Enis Bardhi, Nemanja Radoja, Jose Campana, Jorge de Frutos; Sergio Leon, Jose Luis Morales
Valencia vs Levante Prediction
Valencia still have a slight upper hand in this fixture but will not find it easy without their star players. Goncalo Guedes will be Valencia's chief attacking threat going into this fixture but has recently recovered from an injury himself and might not be at his effervescent best.
Levante are likely to employ a deep defensive block and will attempt to frustrate Los Che in their own backyard. Valencia do have Maxi Gomez and Manu Vallejo in their ranks but are likely to struggle in the final third on Sunday.
Prediction: Valencia 1-1 Levante
Also Read: La Liga 2019/20: Team of the seasonPublished 12 Sep 2020, 14:47 IST