Valladolid v Malaga preview: unavailable players hamper home team preparations
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Malaga don't have money as they did in the previous two seasons but Bernd Schuster has built a respectable team from the players he has at his disposal
Real Valladolid came home with one point after their match at Levante and considering the way things went during the course of the match, they can be pleased with that result. First, the Valladolid players were one goal behind before Javi Guerrero scored an equalizer. After that, a spectacle ensued. Following the referee's bad decision to show Valladolid full-back Zakara Bergdich a red card, Diego Marino managed to save the penalty. Levante played for 50 minutes with one extra player but the visitors managed to defend one point.
There have been many complaints about the referee coming from the Valladolid ranks, who consider Bergdich's expulsion to be unfair and who subsequently appealed on suspension. The disciplinary commission's decision is expected before today's match kicks off but at present time Bergdich's appearance is doubtful and it is hard to believe something will change.
While Bergdich's appearance is doubtful, it is certain Victor Perez will not play. This important midfielder has not played this season due to injury, and when he had joined his teammates in training session he renewed his injury. It has been confirmed from the club that he will be sidelined for at least three months. Oscar Gonzalez, Alvaro Rubio and Daniel Larsson, who had missed the match in Valencia, trained separately, while Patrick Ebert joined them and remains doubtful for today's match. Last season, Ebert was one of Valladolid's best players but ever since the start of the season he has had constant injury problems. Center-back Marc Valiente has recovered from his injury and is back in the squad. All things considered, Juan Ignacio Perez can't count on three important first-team players, Oscar, Rubio and Ebert, while the other players have been injured since the start of the season so their absence can't be considered a particular handicap.
Malaga have been playing better with every round and following their recent successful matches they have found themselves in the upper part of the table. This week, Bernd Schuster's team routinely beat their neighbors from Almeria and it was exactly these kind of victories against weaker opponents that the team needed last season. Schuster has done a great job and it seems the Andalusia boys will be one tough nut for everybody this season.
- "Against Almeria, we headed for the goal since the first minute and even though it was hard in the second half, we managed to secure the win. We were lucky at one point but fortune favors the brave. I am glad that the fans have been there for us this season because they were aware of the difficulties we went through. Now the situation on the table is much better, which makes it easier to breathe, but I don't think great expectations are appropriate. We go step by step, thinking only about the every successive match, which, in this case, is the game against Valladolid. We have restored our confidence and I believe we can achieve a positive result at Valladolid. " - Bernd Schuster seemed pleased with what his team has done so far.
Flavio Ferreira and Weligton, who haven't played a single minute this season, will also be unavailable for today's match. The German strategist is not a big fan of rotations in the lineup and the fact that goalkeeper Willy Caballero and defenders Jesus Gamez, Marcos Angeleri and Vitorino Antunes spending the entire 540 minutes on the pitch proves it. There have been no previews regarding changes in the lineup but in the light of what has just been said, it would not be a surprise if Schuster decided to give rest to a player or two.