Valencia vs Girona
Both teams to score- 19/20!
Girona are back in La Liga, but will they be back with a bang?
Blanquivermells finished sixth in the Segunda División but came up via the play-offs, ousting Eibar and Tenerife, needing to win both second legs on the road to achieve this.
The Catalan side have only ever featured in La Liga twice before, making a splash by finishing tenth in 2017/18, but then suffering with second-season syndrome and going down.
Given that Girona are 47% owned by City Football Group, they’ve been able to make some eye-catching signings.
Yangel Herrera and Yan Couto are in on loan from Manchester City, while 2021 MLS Golden Boot winner Valentín Castellanos has arrived from New York City.
Meanwhile captain Cristhian Stuani is still leading the line, so Míchel’s side look in good shape for a solid season.
The same cannot be said of Valencia, who’ve monopolised the label of La Liga’s crisis club.
Los Che finished fourth in back-to-back seasons not so long ago, also beating Barcelona in the 2019 Copa del Rey Final.
Since then though, Peter Lim has made huge financial cutbacks and this has seen them finished ninth, 13th and ninth.
Last season, despite achieving a top half finish and reaching the Copa del Rey Final, only beaten on penalties, this was deemed not good enough and José Bordalás was sacked.
His replacement is Gennaro Gattuso, who’s walked into a mess.
This week another star asset, this time Gonçalo Guedes, has been sold, meaning this already decimated squad is now even weaker.
So, many are tipping Valencia to be embroiled in a relegation battle, with this game set to be an early indication.
Will Girona add to the anger that already exists at Mestalla by leaving with three points?