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Osasuna vs Valencia Preview

January 22, 2012 By Angela Asante
Sunday’s action in La Liga opens with an early match between Osasuna and Valencia. Kick-off time is at 6:00am EST (11:00am GMT).
Third-placed Valencia will be looking to bounce back from their surprise defeat to Real Sociedad. Considering the strength of Real Madrid and Barcelona at the top of the standings, it looks like Los Che should aim for nothing more and for nothing less than a third-place finish.

As things stand, they are on their way to securing an automatic spot in next season’s UEFA Champions League competition. Valencia have a comfortable four-point advantage over Levante in the standings.

They are also six points clear from the UEFA Europa League zone which is currently occupied by fifth-placed Espanyol and sixth-placed Athletic Bilbao. Los Che can contemplate hitting 37 points and creating a seven-point gap over Levante temporarily.

Valencia can use their emphatic midweek triumph in the Copa del Rey against the Granotas as a morale booster as coach Emery hopes. Speaking at the pre-match press conference, the manager stated the following:

"We are confident and have the time and contribution of the players. There are no excuses for not returning to getting three points. I hope that we have the winning mentality."

Osasuna should also find motivation to bounce back from the 2-0 loss to Racing Santander which ended their remarkable six-match unbeaten run in La Liga.

Osasuna can optimistically dream about playing in Europe next season. To achieve such a thing, however, they need to fight at the highest level. Osasuna are sandwiched between many of teams in ninth position.

Interestingly, Osasuna possess 26 points like three other teams that seat above them in La Liga—Athletic Bilbao, Atletico Madrid and Sevilla. This season, the challenge for Los Rojillos is exciting.

They face two things: the disappointment of finishing the campaign in the middle zone of La Liga’s table and the miracle of reaching Europe.
Recording their sixth victory in ten home matches against Los Che of Valencia would send them closer to clinching the latter.

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