In the eighth finals of the Copa del Rey Sporting Gijon hopes to stunt. The second division from Asturias defends a 2-1 lead from the first leg in the return in and against subtopper Valencia. However, the treacherous Valencia wants to treat the fans in their own Mestalla to a resounding victory.
At the time of writing Marcelino Toral can still call himself coach of Valencia, but that can change every moment. After the disappointing 1-1 draw of last weekend at home against doctoral candidate Real Valladolid, the pressure on his position has increased, so a possible dismissal is in the air. In any case, the coach does not give the impression of lying awake. ‘Are I afraid of my dismissal? Not at all, “says the coach. ‘Setback is part of football. If the board thinks I am the main culprit for the current malaise, it should put me on the street. However, I think we simply have a lot of bad luck this season. ‘ There is indeed something to be said for that. On the basis of Expected Goals, Valencia had to win big last weekend, but if you even miss penalties, winning will quickly become a difficult story.
Since it is by no means certain whether Marcelino will be sitting on the bench on Tuesday night, it is difficult to predict what the Valencia base will look like in the return against Sporting Gijon. In any case, it is expected that the home team will play a mix of basic players and reserves. Young talents like Ferran Torres and Lee Kang-In are likely to show themselves. Furthermore, it remains to be seen who will attack Marcelino (or his successor). Michy Batshuayi will not be in any case. The Belgian striker has flopped in Mestalla and seems on his way to AS Monaco by trainer Thierry Henry.
Thanks to goals from Javi Noblejas and Nick Blackman, Sporting Gijon won the first game of last week against Valencia 2-1. The second division therefore has a draw on Tuesday-evening to reach the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey.
Nevertheless, reaching the last eight of the Spanish cup tournament is not a priority. Despite a twelfth place in the Segunda Division, Sporting Gijon has not yet missed out on a return to La Liga. Trainer Jose Alberto Lopez will therefore rotate as much as last week. Club top scorer Carlos Carmona (six goals) will probably get some rest in the Mestalla. The Asturians, however, have to count on their count, because they knew only to win a win in the competition this season. Last weekend they were close to their second away on foreign soil, but an offside goal threw a spanner in the game (Albacete-out: 1-1).
PREDICTION: Both teams to score / NO @ 1.57