Valencia CF continue to flirt with relegation danger and remain one of a number of clubs that are in jeopardy of losing their La Liga status at the end of the season. The competition this year to stay in Spain’s elite league is stronger than ever. Only a handful of points separate teams between 11th and 19th in the table. Elche seem to have their fate realistically sealed as they are double figures behind their nearest rivals at the bottom of the rung. The other two relegation spots are so close to call and could well see teams level on points requiring additional criteria to separate them to stay afloat in La Liga. Unlike most leagues in Europe, goal difference is a secondary condition in Spain. La Liga initially takes the head to head results between clubs before tackling to the numbers game to decide a team’s fate.
To this end, Valencia have some work to do against their relegation rivals. Los Che have already played Girona and Getafe twice and have a better head to head against Getafe, which in effect is worth an extra point.
Girona is a little more complicated and would require intervention from goal difference as both teams won their home fixture by one goal to nil. If goal difference is also the same, then the fair play system determines who would stay up… with the team with the least yellow and red cards in the season surviving.
The other clubs involved in the survival battle have yet to complete their two match fixtures against Valencia but the current situation for Los Che is not particularly healthy.
Almeria, Espanyol and Sevilla are currently all square after draws in the respective fixtures. Espanyol and Sevilla have to come to the Mestalla, whilst Almeria will host Valencia later this month in what could be classified as a “six-pointer.”
Cádiz and Mallorca won at the Mestalla and Valladolid were also victorious on their home soil. So, these three fixtures will also be vital in Valencia’s quest to remain in La Liga. They are all single goal deficits.
Mallorca won 2-1 on the mainland and Cádiz also took all three points from the Mestalla, whilst Valladolid scored a last minute winner at the José Zorrilla stadium that could come back to haunt Valencia.
Recent results and performances under Ruben Baraja have been acceptable. Home victories over Real Sociedad and Osasuna and a draw with Rayo brought welcome points before and after the International break, although losses at the Nou Camp and the Wanda Metropolitano continued Valencia’s worries on the road.
The team’s last point in the league on the road was in San Sebastian, at the beginning of November, last year. April will be a pivotal month as the club have home fixtures against Sevilla and Valladolid and away matches with Cadiz, Almeria and Elche. A strong showing in these contests will ease the worries of concerned socios.
Off the field, Valencia have unveiled a new canvas draping one of the towers at the Mestalla to celebrate the ground’s centenary. The mural, sponsored by Amstel, is 30 metres high by 26 metres wide and depicts a poster by Federico Tormo of the first match played at the stadium, between Valencia and Levante on May 20th 1923.
Looking forward to the summer, the Valencia Academy will be heading to the United States to take part in the Generation Addidas Cup. Recently, the youngsters won the Jazira Under 15 International Cup in Abu Dhabi, and the same squad will head to Florida to participate in an event that includes 49 professional clubs from 12 different countries.
Valencia Under 15s has been drawn in Group 6 and will play three American teams, David Beckham’s Inter Miami, Philadelphia Union and Sporting Kansas City. The youngsters from Spain finished runners-up in last year’s event, losing out 2-0 to Portland Timbers. Frenchman Raymond Henric-Coll will coach the side at this prestigious tournament.
On the Women’s front, Valencia continue to lie in mid-table. However, they did secure the services of Asun Martínez until the summer of 2025… after reaching an agreement for a contract extension.
The Elche born native is closing in on almost a hundred matches for the club and was part of the Spanish Under 20 team that won the World Cup at that age group in Costa Rica last year.
Meanwhile, Levante women continue to have a good season lying behind their main protagonists Barcelona and Real Madrid in the Primera División Feminina de España (Liga F). With a healthy buffer over fourth place Atletico Madrid, they are virtually guaranteed a top three finish. Real Madrid in second place remain catchable, but Barcelona continue to be faultless and have not dropped a league point all year to date.
The Levante men (Levante UD) have had several draws in recent weeks that leaves them just on the cusp of an automatic promotion place. Five teams remain in serious contention for the two confirmed places with only four points between Las Palmas, Eibar, Levante, Granada and Alavés. It seems that Los Granotas will at the very least be involved in the race for La Liga status right up to the end of the season.
Finally, an historical moment took place at the Ciutat de Valencia Stadium before Levante’s game with Real Zaragoza recently. The Royal Spanish Football Federation finally recognised Levante’s achievement in winning the “Copa Del Rey” in 1937. It had previously gone unrewarded because it was played by only Republican based teams during the Civil War, when it was known as the “Free Spain Cup”. Relatives of the players were on hand to see the President of RFEF, Luis Rubiales (who played for Levante between 2003-2008) present the trophy to the current captain for the day, Vicente Iborra.
The trophy is part of the exhibition on Levante football that is currently taking place until the end of June at the L’ETNO museum. More information on exhibition can be found here :
Report by John Howden
Article copyright ’24/7 Valencia’
Valencia CF matches
UD Almeria v Valencia April 9th 18.30h
Valencia v Sevilla April 16th 21.00h
Elche v Valencia Weekend 22/23rd tbc
Valencia v Valladolid April 26 th tbc
Cadiz v Valencia Weekend 29th/30 th tbc
Levante UD matches
Eibar v Levante UD April 9th 16.15h
Levante UD v Mirandes April 17 th 19.00h
UD Palmas v Levante UD Weekend 22/23rd tbc
Levante UD v Alaves Weekend 29th/30 th tbc