It’s true that two points out of twelve, after the World Cup, is small baggage, but I don’t think we need to load the shotguns yet. A certain pessimism can be seen in the environment as a result of the latest results.
No need to be dramatic. The spark is missing before the World Cup in Qatar, but the team is close to winning every game. In this batch of four games without a win, it should be considered that two are at home to two European rivals who do things well, such as Betis and Real (arbitration on the side), another against Real Madrid, who have not lost in La Liga for seven years at La Catedral, and the fourth against Osasuna.
That tie did the damage, as those two points allowed the Lions to now occupy sixth place. The team will have a different perspective in a continental situation and the possibility of reaching the semifinal of the Cup again.
All or nothing. Win or on the street. 90 minutes to leave the Mestalla on their shoulders or lick their wounds before traveling to Vigo. There are no half measures. Valverde knows this and will present a very familiar eleven, with some small nuances, but without the massive rotation that could come to Balaídos to close the first round of La Liga. For now, it seems like a far-fetched scenario with everything at stake tomorrow in Ciudad del Turia.
Nothing is simple in the Copa
The confrontation against the Che team will not be easy. Right now I see it at 50%. Valverde’s men are a bit better in the Liga, but the classification is decided in their stadium and that is very important, as was verified last season with Guedes’ goal. Fate gives Athletic an opportunity to remove that thorn. It’s time to take advantage of it.
It was a tie decided by small details. If we remember the league match at San Mamés, the win stayed at home, although Gattuso’s men could have drawn a draw without it seeming strange to us.
The link that Athletic has with the Valencian Community in this competition is worthy of a postgraduate master. This course, without further ado, is the third visit after Alzira and Eldense. Before them Intercity, Alcoyano, Elche, Levante or Valencia itself. Fortunately there are many rojiblancas clubs in that area and I am sure that the team will not be alone despite the fact that getting a ticket for the Mestalla is not easy.
The Valencian field is tightening. We don’t know if Gattuso will trust Herrerín to confront his exes. He didn’t do it in the previous round against Sporting or even against La Nucía, although that time he gave him minutes in the second half. The Italian coach admitted that the former lion was upset, something that didn’t seem to bother him too much. From what has been seen so far, Mamardashvili intends to start. Iago’s trick can be saved for a hypothetical penalty shootout because he knows his rival so well.
Source: La Verdad