Valencia v Real Betis preview
After Europa League defeat Valencia will be looking to get back on track with a success over Real Betis.
Last Updated: April 21, 2012 12:38pm
Valencia: Hoping to get back on track
Valencia cannot be distracted by their European commitments when they take on Real Betis, club president Manuel Llorente has warned.
Sky Bet Odds
Valencia - 8/13, Draw - 14/5, Real Betis - 9/2 Bet now
Los Che go into the game having somewhat got away with a woeful defensive display against fellow Primera Division side Atletico Madrid in Thursday's Europa League semi-final first leg.
Stoppage-time goals in each half rescued a 4-2 scoreline which, with the benefit of that away double, they will harbour hopes of overturning at the Mestalla next week.
Before that, though, they face a Betis team making a late-season push for a place in the competition next term and Llorente insists they must be on their mettle.
"Against Betis, which is as important as a final, the team will have to play at 200%," he told AS.
"The only solution is that the team must be strong and play as they have shown that they can. We can and must do that."
Betis coach Pepe Mel insists Europe is secondary in his thoughts, to be considered only once the notional threat of relegation is banished once and for all.
Betis have climbed up to 12th in the standings on the back of a six-match unbeaten run, and they are now just four points off the top six and 11 clear of the relegation zone.
"We can talk about Europe but if we lose in Valencia, we will be saying we have a little more to do to achieve the goal of staying up," he told his club's official website.
"Beating Valencia would make it mathematically certain that we will stay in the Primera. This is the club's main objective.
"Winning would also leave us looking upwards, looking back would be pointless.
"We are ambitious but we have to go step by step. To speak of Europe, we first have to be sure of survival."
Mel will have defender Paulao available despite a niggling knee injury, though midfielders Benat and Iriney are also suffering with knee problems.
Valencia welcome back Antonio Barragan after a European suspension sidelined him against Atletico.
Best Bet: Handicap Betting - Valencia (-1) - 6/4
Spanish Primera BBVA
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