Valencia's league position means that they cannot afford to be distracted by next Wednesday's Copa del Rey final as they prepare to face Racing Santander on Saturday evening...
Match Preview: Form Guide & Team News
Ahead of the game, Valencia coach Ronald Koeman has said that he is frustrated by all the off field drama at the Mestalla, and feels that more often than not, he has to bite his tongue. Koeman said: "I can't always say what I think because I have to think about what is good for the club.Sometimes you just need a pat on the back. A lot of things have gone on here since since November"
Mathematically, Valencia are just one win away from guaranteed Primera Liga survival with seven games of the Spanish football season remaining. However, with just one win in their last eight matches, the troubled Mestalla outfit cannot afford to assume anything, particularly with just six points between them and the relegation zone.
Koeman said: "The players need to be united, to work hard and as a unit in order to move forward and out of this situation. It seems like we are in the shit, but in four days time it could be beautiful because we could win a title."
In response to Joaquin's comments that Valencia had played some games running round like 'headless chickens,' Koeman said: "there are things that should be said within, and not outside the dressing room. If I have something to say to Joaquin, I'll say it to him"
Valencia's opponents, Racing Santander, missed an opportunity to move up into a Champions League place last weekend, but they slipped three points adrift of fourth-placed Atletico Madrid after suffering their third home defeat of the season in a shock 3-1 defeat to Deportivo.
The Racing coach, Marcelino Garcia Toral, must take much of the credit for Racing's remarkable season and it is no surprise that he is now being tipped to move up to a bigger club in the summer.
Looking ahead to Saturday's game, Valencia winger Joaquin recognised the work that Marcelino is doing and was full of praise for the Racing coach. The Spanish international, without alluding to any poultry, said: "We have all seen the great season that Marcelino is having. He has already shown in Huelva that he is a coach with new ideas and surprises."
FORM GUIDE: Racing won the reverse fixture 1-0
Valencia W3 D3 L4 (Home W4 D3 L8) / Racing Santander W5 D2 L3 (Away W5 D5 L6)
David Villa return to the squad and could start on Saturday in a bid to gain fitness ahead of Wednesday's final. VIcente is also available. Santiago Canizares, David Albelda and Miguel Angel Angulo continue to be ostracised by Koeman.
Racing will be without injured centre-back Ezequiel Garay for the rest of the season.