Valencia back on track ahead of Celtic clash

By David Walton

January 30, 2019

With just over two weeks until Valencia visit Celtic Park in the last-32 of the Europa League, it looks like they’re back on track.

A struggling first six months to the season for Marcelino Garcia Toral had the Mestalla outfit sitting in the bottom half of La Liga. Added to that, injury to Kevin Gameiro had us all wondering whether he would be fit for Parkhead or not. You can read our story on that here.

But, unfortunately for Hoops fans, Gameiro is already working his way back into the side. He came on for the final four minutes of yesterday’s 3-1 Copa Del Rey win over Getafe. 

Kevin Gameiro came on last night and inspired a comeback (Maria Jose Segovia/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

It was a result that sent Valencia into the semi-finals of Spain’s most prized cup competition. Despite an early set-back, Rodrigo scored a hat-trick in the final 32 minutes to storm Toral’s side into the semis.

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They also recorded a similarly convincing result against Rangers’ Europa League conquerors Villarreal. A massive three points from the Yellow Submarine have pushed Valencia up to seventh in the table all of a sudden.

A sudden surge

Now they’re just three points from fifth-place. It’s certainly a good run they’re on as they’ve now won four of their last five matches. They’ve managed to turn their form around, but there’s still time for that to change before they pitch up at Parkhead.

Valencia are away to Barcelona next before hosting Real Sociedad. With Sociedad just two places below them in ninth, that won’t be an easy encounter either.

Valencia are buzzing after their dramatic win last night (Jose Miguel Fernandez/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Granted, it’s just two games. You could easily look at Celtic’s form and think “wow” too. But Valencia are certainly up against better opposition than we have been recently.

Any hope of them coming to Parkhead on a downer is looking bleak. The nature of their recent successes are extremely impressive.

In terms of Valencia’s injury news, it’s looking fairly positive for them. Their only injury absentees at Parkhead are likely to be Geoffrey Kondogbia and Goncalo Guedes. With Gameiro already back playing, you can be almost certain he’ll be ready for February 14th.

And it looks as if Valencia in general are gearing up nicely for what will be a tasty clash in two weeks’ time.