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Valencia logo
La Liga | Gameweek 19
Jan 2, 2024 at 8.30pm UK
Estadio de Mestalla
Villarreal logo

3 - 1

Yaremchuk (4'), Pepelu (27' pen., 57' pen.)
Gaya (63'), Lopez (74')
FT(HT: 2-0)
Moreno (73')
Bailly (37'), Marcelino (38'), Parejo (49'), Capoue (56'), Terrats (80'), Cuenca (90+2')

Preview: Valencia vs. Villarreal - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's La Liga clash between Valencia and Villarreal, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Both Valencia and Villarreal will be aiming to make it successive wins in Spain's top flight when the two teams lock horns at Mestalla on Tuesday evening.

Valencia entered the winter break in La Liga off the back of a 1-0 victory over Rayo Vallecano in Madrid, while Villarreal's last match saw them run out 3-2 winners against Celta Vigo on home soil.

Match preview

Valencia's Hugo Guillamon celebrates scoring their first goal on December 16, 2023© Reuters

Valencia have won six, drawn five and lost seven of their 18 league matches this season to collect 23 points, which has left them in 10th position in the table heading into the start of 2024.

Los Che finished down in 16th spot in La Liga last term, which proved to be their lowest spot since being relegated at the end of the 1985-86 campaign, so there is clear room for improvement this season.

Consistency has been a problem for Ruben Baraja's side, but their home form has been relatively strong, winning four, drawing two and losing two of their eight matches in front of their own fans to collect 14 points.

Valencia managed just their second away league win of the campaign before the winter break, meanwhile, as a second-half goal from Sergi Canos secured a one-goal success over Rayo, and Los Che will now be bidding to make it back-to-back wins in Spain's top flight for the first time since the start of the campaign.

The six-time Spanish champions are winless in their last three meetings with Villarreal, though, including a 1-1 draw in the corresponding contest between the two sides at Mestalla last season.

Villarreal coach Marcelino reacts on December 5, 2023© Reuters

Villarreal were impressive in La Liga last season, claiming fifth spot in the table, which saw them directly qualify for the group stage of the Europa League.

However, it has been a turbulent first half of the 2023-24 campaign for the Yellow Submarine, with the team on their third permanent manager; Quique Setien lost his job at the start of September due to a poor start, and Pacheta then only lasted two months before Marcelino returned as head coach on November 13.

Villarreal were able to book their spot in the knockout round of the Europa League, which is likely to be their best route in terms of securing possible Champions League qualification for next season.

Indeed, an inconsistent league campaign to date has seen the Yellow Submarine only pick up 19 points from 18 matches, which has left them in 13th position in the table, some 11 points off sixth-placed Real Sociedad, which is a lot of ground to make up, even at this stage of the season.

Marcelino's side only picked up one point from their opening three league games in December, but they managed to record a 3-2 victory over Celta before the winter break, with Alfonso Pedraza, Aissa Mandi and Dani Parejo on the scoresheet at Estadio de la Ceramica.

Valencia La Liga form:

Valencia form (all competitions):

Villarreal La Liga form:

Villarreal form (all competitions):

Team News

Valencia's Hugo Duro celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on September 16, 2023© Reuters

Valencia will again be without the services of Jose Gaya due to a muscular problem, while Andre Almeida remains a doubt for the home side on Tuesday due to a troublesome back issue.

Head coach Baraja will also have to work around the absences of Thierry Correia and Mouctar Diakhaby, as the former was sent off against Rayo, while the latter picked up a milestone yellow card, so the pair are suspended for the clash with Villarreal.

Gabriel Paulista and Dimitri Foulquier are likely to be the defensive replacements for this match, but it is otherwise expected to be the same team that featured against Rayo, with Canos's winner in that contest likely to mean another start for him down the left.

Villarreal also have two players out of this match through suspension, with Alex Baena and Santi Comesana both picking up milestone bookings in the win over Celta.

The Yellow Submarine, meanwhile, will be missing a number of players through injury, with Gerard Moreno, Matteo Gabbia, Juan Foyth, Francis Coquelin, Yeremi Pino and Denis Suarez unavailable.

Etienne Capoue is back from a suspension of his own, though, and he should start in midfield, while Jose Luis Morales is expected to be introduced in the final third of the field alongside Alexander Sorloth.

Valencia possible starting lineup:
Mamardashvili; Foulquier, Paulista, Mosquera, Vazquez; D Lopez, Guillamon, Pepelu, Canos; Duro, Amallah

Villarreal possible starting lineup:
Jorgensen; Alti, Albiol, Mandi, Pedraza; Akhomach, Capoue, Parejo, A Moreno; Sorloth, Morales

SM words green background

We say: Valencia 2-1 Villarreal

Both teams will be missing some important players for this match, but Villarreal will be hit harder in terms of absentees. It would not be a surprise to see the points shared on Tuesday, but we believe that Valencia have enough quality to navigate their way to a narrow success in front of their own supporters.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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Group A

Q Germany Germany32107
Q Switzerland Switzerland31205
3 Hungary Hungary31023
4 Scotland flag Scotland30121

Group B

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Q Italy Italy31114
3 Croatia Croatia30212
4 Albania national flag Albania30121

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4 Ukraine Ukraine31114

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4 Czech Republic Czech Republic30121

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