This is a huge game for Villarreal as they face an arch-rival in front of a newly renovated Estadio de la Cerámica. The ground will reopen its doors to a highly anticipated contest with important points at stake with both clubs knocking on the door of the European berths.
Recently appointed Villarreal boss Quique is still trying to put his signature on a squad built by former boss Unai Emery. A win in this match would convince doubters that he can be as successful as the ex-manager.
The only important absence for Villarreal is Lo Celso who is injured. There are minor doubts with defensive duo Coquelin and Capoue, both expected to be fully available despite not being 100%.
Argentina Squad members Gero Rulli and Juan Foyth only returned from their celebrations on Wednesday, but both have committed to the club that they want to play in this contest. Both have 50/50 chances to begin in goal and right back respectively, but alternatives are reliable in this impressive squad.
A struggling Valencia start this La Liga round in a disappointing 10th position but only two points away from their rivals and host here, Villareal.
Not helping unity or the mood in the club is the reports that manager Gattuso is unhappy with his chairman Peter Lim. The Italian is upset that more money has not been made available for him to make significant January additions to the squad.
Valencia competed in three friendly games this month to stay focused and match sharp but lost 2 from the 3 outings which did not help with confidence.
On a positive note, the boss has his entire outfield squad available for this crunch game. Only keeper Jaume remains sidelined by injury, and he is deemed as their number two in any case.
There is hope that the club can build on the vital and impressive 3-0 home win over Real Betis in the final game before the World Cup break.
Looking at the 1×2 market first, where the favourite for this game is Villarreal who is priced @ 2.00 to get a win. They have a slight extra edge here with all the excitement around the stadium, it is an occasion they are determined to mark accordingly. The draw is @ 3.45 and Valencia is the outsiders @ 4.00.
Moving onto the Asian handicap market for this contest which for Villarreal backers, holds no value compared to the 1×2 market. Villarreal -0.5 is @ 1.96. Those considering Valencia +0.5 who will have good support can bet them with the draw onside @1.91.
Looking at The Under/Over market last of all which looks well set at 2.5. Over is priced @ 1.90 while the Under is @ 1.92. An entertaining game can be expected but if tempers flare too much there is a chance it gets bogged down and red cards could damage the prospect of goals.