It is the ultimate battle of the sides beginning with V, as two teams with rich La Liga heritage collide on Sunday in what is, without doubt, the standout fixture in Spain’s top flight this weekend.
As the pair have been involved in European exploits mid-week, the playing field has been somewhat levelled with the La Liga soccer betting for this game set to paint a picture of an even contest, but one that you will not want to miss.
So, who is going to win?
Villarreal’s Estadio de la Cerámica is not one of the larger stadia in Spain, but it does lack for atmosphere.
However, the Yellow Submarine has had a questionable start to the new season having lost both their La Liga home games to opposition they would have expected more from.
A 2-2 Europa League draw against Scottish Premiership side Rangers was hardly convincing either, even if Javier Calleja did present a much-changed side.
One win, one draw, and two defeats have left the 2006 Champions League semi-finalists under a certain amount of pressure and in need of a result against the Bats on Sunday.
Valencia’s brief stint in the doldrums firmly came to an end last season largely thanks to head coach Marcelino driving the side from a two-year mid table period back into Spain’s top four where they undoubtedly belong.
However, they head to face Villarreal after suffering a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Italian heavyweights Juventus in the Champions League.
There is little shame in that but perhaps a more consistent performance would have left fans feeling a little more comfortable that they may be able to compete at Europe’s top table.
League form has been much like their opponents Villarreal, Poor. Three draws and a defeat has left the side just one spot above the relegation zone after four games.
Head to Head
Based on the sides similar and disappointing start to the season, the head to head statistics may well be where we find our winner.
The pair met at the end of last season at Villarreal’s home ground and it was the home side who were celebrating after a 1-0 win.
In fact, the yellow submarine did the double over Valencia in 2017/18 winning the reverse fixture at the Mestalla again 1-0.
This is all pointing to a third successive Villarreal win especially considering at the tail end of the season prior, Villarreal claimed victory again at the Mestalla 3-1.
You have to go back to the 21st January 2017 for the last time Valencia beat their rivals, but it did occur on Villarreal’s home patch.
Valencia can call on the attacking prowess of on-loan Chelsea forward Michy Batshuayi who is yet to score for the Bats.
Valencia’s midfield is also packed with talent with the much-coveted Geoffrey Kondogbia and club captain Daniel Parejo set to play vital roles.
Villarreal has former Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla in the centre of the park for creativity as well as former Everton defender Ramiro Funes Mori in the back line to shore-up defence whilst club captain Bruno Soriano edges ever closer to the 350 La Liga appearance for the club.
Both sides have been terrible this season meaning both come into the game under severe pressure.
Because of this, a draw is the most likely outcome even though there has not been one between the two since April 2015 and Villarreal edge the recent head to heads.
Half of the sides combined eight games has resulted in a stalemate and a 1-1 looks the best correct score for a game between two struggling heavyweights of Spanish football.