Sports Mole previews Friday’s La Liga clash between Girona and Real Valladolid, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Real Valladolid will be bidding to make it back-to-back La Liga victories when they continue their 2022-23 campaign away to Girona on Friday night.
Package‘s side, who are 16th in the table, will enter the contest off the back of a 1-0 win over Almeria, while 12th-placed Girona played out a 1-1 draw with Mallorca in their last match.
Girona are operating in Spain’s top flight for the first time since the 2018-19 campaign, spending three seasons in the Segunda Division before managing to return to this level.
The White and Reds had to beat Eibar and Tenerife in last season’s Segunda Division playoffs to earn promotion, and they will now be hoping to consolidate in the top tier.
Girona started their 2022-23 campaign with a 1-0 defeat at Valencia but managed to pick up three points one week later, recording a 3-1 victory over Getafe.
Michele‘s side then lost 1-0 at home to Celta Vigo in their next match, but they picked up a point in a 1-1 draw with Mallorca last time out, with a total of four points leaving them in 12th spot in the table .
Gironistes, who will take on Real Betis in their final fixture ahead of the September international break, picked up four points in their two Segunda Division matches with Friday’s opponents last season, but this will be the first La Liga meeting between the two sides since April 2019, when Real Valladolid won 1-0.
Real Valladolid, who finished second in the 2021-22 Segunda Division top secure a return to the top level, will enter this contest off the back of a 1-0 win over Almeria on Monday night.
Sean Weissman came off the bench to score the only goal of the match in the 90th minute, and the victory moved the club into 16th position in the table on four points.
The White and Violets started their campaign with a 3-0 defeat at Villarreal but picked up an impressive point away at Sevilla one week later before losing 4-0 at Barcelona.
Monday’s success over Almeria will have raised confidence in the camp, though, and Pacheta’s side now have two huge games against Girona and Cadiz ahead of the September international break.
Real Valladolid managed three straight seasons in La Liga before dropping to the second tier for 2021-22, and they will be bidding to consolidate in the top flight once again.
Girona La Liga form:
Real Valladolid La Liga form:
Girona are missing a number of first-team players through injury, with Christian Stuani, Ramon Terrats, Yangel Herrera, Borja Garcia and Ibrahima Kebe all currently on the sidelines.
Head coach Mikel will have been pleased with what he saw against Mallorca last time out, so it would not be a surprise to see a similar side for this match.
Samuel Saiz is likely to start on the bench again despite his goal as a substitute last time out, but Tony Villa could come into the starting side at the expense of Reinier.
Real Valladolid, meanwhile, could have a fully-fit squad for this match, with the club not reporting any fresh concerns following their clash with Almeria.
As a result, Pacheta has some big decisions to make when it comes to team selection, but it could be a case of the same again following the 1-0 victory last time out.
Monchu and fit-again Weissman are pushing for spots in the XI, but Sergi Guardiola could retain his spot at centre-forward, while Alvaro Aguado is likely to keep hold of his midfield role.
Girona possible starting lineup:
Carlos; Bueno, D Lopez, Juanpe; Martinez, Romeo, A Garcia, Gutierrez; Villa, Castellanos, Riquelme
Real Valladolid possible starting lineup:
Asenjo; L Perez, Fernandez, J Sanchez, Escudero; Aguado, Mesa, K Perez; I Sanchez, Guardiola, Plano
We say: Girona 1-2 Real Valladolid
Girona’s injury list is fairly lengthy at the moment, but Real Valladolid could have a full squad for this match, and we just have a feeling that the visitors could shade this contest. It would certainly not be a surprise to see a home win or a draw, but we are backing Real Valladolid to triumph.
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