VALENCIA - ESPANYOL
Crunch time for Gary Neville and Constantin Galca
The Sword of Damocles will be hanging over the dugouts at Mestalla tonight as the Valencia and Espanyol managers try to buy themselves more time.
Whatever the outcome in Mestalla tonight there will be ramifications in the Far East, Singapore (Peter Lim) and China (Chen Yansheng) to be more precise. With Valencia and Espanyol staring relegation in the face coming into this game (four and one point above the jump zone respectively), the scrutiny Gary Neville and Constantin Galca find themselves under is more palpable now than ever before.
During his pre-match press conference yesterday the Englishman swatted away any suggestions that his job might be on the line depending on the Espanyol result. Following Monday’s collapse at home to Real Sociedad, Galca might not be as confident about holding onto his position as his counterpart.
There is a feeling in Valencia that Neville is safe until the summer. And while the former Monday Night Football pundit may not have the backing of the Mestalla faithful, a group of supporters renowned for their passion and understanding of the game, Espanyol will be facing off against 45,000 people tonight. In other words, the cries of ‘Sack the Englishman’ and ‘Mercenaries’ will be put aside for the time being as top flight survival becomes a legitimate concern.
There is some good news for Neville as Enzo and Alcácer make their returns. Galca meanwhile welcomes back Caicedo and Víctor Sánchez. Cheryshev is set to make his Mestalla debut, while Siqueira, Santos and Rodrigo come in to replace Gayà, Mustafi and André.