Valencia CF vs Getafe CF: Bordalas returns to Mestalla for a direct duel in the race for a European place

New Delhi, March 6 (IANS) Matches between Valencia CF and Getafe CF have been particularly vibrant in recent years. There have been several high-voltage encounters between these two teams who have been competing for similar objectives in recent seasons, and the intensity of these clashes has given rise to a unique rivalry.

Ahead of this weekend’s duel, Jose Bordalas will undoubtedly be at the centre. Born in Alicante, the province next to Valencia, the coach who just turned 60 has become one of the most high-profile figures in Spanish football.

After spending most of his managerial career in the dugouts of more modest clubs, he achieved his first promotion to LaLiga level with Deportivo Alaves in 2016, even if he wasn’t kept on for that project for the following season. But, after he got the call from Getafe CF, who had just gone down to the second tier and were struggling, the rest is history.

During his first stint as coach of Getafe CF, from 2016 to 2021, he made a huge impact on the team’s fortunes. It was during this period that the curious rivalry with Valencia CF began, as his Getafe CF side became a very difficult one to beat.

The coach led Getafe CF to promotion, to qualification for the UEFA Europa League and to a Round of 32 victory over Ajax. With all that on his CV, Bordalas decided to move on and he signed for Valencia CF in 2021. In just one season there, he took the team to the final of the Copa del Rey and they put together a solid league campaign, yet he departed at the end of that season.

In April of 2023, with Getafe CF immersed in an agonising relegation battle, in which Valencia CF were also involved, the Madrid club dispensed with the services of Quique Sánchez Flores so that Bordalas could return. With just a few weeks to work his magic, he managed to achieve an impressive recovery, and Los Azulones renewed his contract until 2025.

This Sunday, he finally returns to Mestalla, and both teams are in different situations compared to last term. With 35 points, Getafe CF are 11th in the table and just two points behind ninth-placed Valencia CF. Both clubs, therefore, are still pushing for seventh place, aware that it will grant access to the UEFA Conference League should Athletic Club win the Copa del Rey and also qualify for Europe through their own league position.

Valencia CF will be without Mouctar Diakhaby, following the serious injury the defender suffered last weekend in the match against Real Madrid, while Getafe CF will be without two of their best attacking players, as Borja Mayoral is injured and Mason Greenwood is suspended, while Mauro Arambarri remains on the injury report too.

In the first meeting of the season, Getafe CF won 1-0 thanks to a goal from Borja Mayoral in the 87th minute. It was a very tight and competitive match in which there were three red cards, a demonstration of the intensity with which the matches are played every time these teams meet.

Curiously, there are several players who have crossed this divide over the years and who’ll face their former colleagues this weekend. Hugo Duro, the Valencia CF striker who has 11 goals this season, will face his hometown club, where he played his first games in LaLiga EA Sports. Valencia CF’s Dimitri Foulquier will also view this match as a special one, as he was part of the Getafe CF squad during the 2018/19 season.

On the Getafe CF side, there are also several players with a Valencian background. Nemanja Maksimovic swapped Mestalla for the Coliseum in 2018, and has become a key man at the club since then. Omar Alderete, who played one season at Valencia CF, could also feature, as might winter arrivals and former Valencia CF players Yellu Santiago and Ilaix Moriba.

It promises to be a great game at Mestalla, with reunions and intensity in what will be a key encounter in terms of these clubs’ chances of squeezing into Europe for next season.








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