Kevin Gameiro goes off injured ahead of Celtic vs Valencia tie

By David Walton

January 23, 2019

Valencia superstar Kevin Gameiro last night hobbled off in discomfort after playing over an hour against Getafe.

The Copa del Ray quarter-final first-leg clash, which Getafe won 1-0, saw a weak performance from Celtic’s Europa League opponents. They held plenty of possession, but struggled to do much with it as they were limited to just five shots on goal.

But the most notable moment of the match from a Celtic perspective came on 66 minutes. Moments after a harsh challenge on him by Getafe’s Mauro Arambarri, Gameiro left the field carrying a limp.

This is the challenge that injured Kevin Gameiro last night (David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)

Valencia manager Marcelino Garcia Toral refused to speculate on the injury. Instead, he said he’ll be waiting for an examination from the doctors. Speaking to Deporte Valenciano, Toral said the following:

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“Kevin Gameiro has a very strong blow and doctors will make the assessment, we will have to see how it evolves.

Valencia would certainly be weaker without him

Having Valencia pitch up at Parkhead without Gameiro would be detrimental to them. He’s made 26 appearances for the Mestalla side, but has also only scored on two occasions. His off-the-ball work, however, has contributed to a lot more.

Michy Batshuayi also departed this month after going back to Chelsea. Despite the fact that Denis Cheryshev came on for Gameiro last night, Rodrigo would likely be his replacement for Parkhead.

Rodrigo would be the likely replacement for Gameiro (David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)

A combination of Rodrigo and Santi Mina would still be pretty formidable, but Gameiro being absent still weakens them. Regardless, Valencia will still bring a strong team to Parkhead anyway.

The Spaniards are actually having a pretty turbulent season. They only sit ninth in La Liga, and have spent plenty of the season so far in the bottom half.

Despite some impressive performances in Europe, Toral is under some pressure. Dressing room unrest and inconsistency have plagued Celtic’s Europa League last-32 opponents. No doubt, however, they’ll be hugely tricky opposition at Parkhead.