VALENCIA - LAS PALMAS
All eyes on Jonathan Viera at Mestalla this evening
Valencia aim to give a good impression in front of their own fans as they welcome Las Palmas to Mestalla this evening.
The Valencia side which entertains Las Palmas at Mestalla this evening will have a different look come September. For a start they are without Nani who is serving a one-match suspension for his dismissal in May's Turkish Cup final; then they will need to adjust the total cost of the squad to complay with FIFA's Financial Fair Play requirements. And on top of all that, García Pitarch is hoping to sign a centre-back central (Raúl Albiol or Sidnei). But Pako Ayestarán isn't thinking about the squad he will eventually have, but the one he has to draw on to select a side for tonight's game against Las Palmas. For the moment, he is has one of his key players - Paco Alcácer, just like Quique Setién, who will be in the visitors' dug-out tonight has Roque Mesa, for the time being...
Las Palmas begin their league campaign at Mestalla with the idea of carrying on from where they left off last season - carrying forward the Setién passing-posesión stamp. Valencia meanwhile, hope to do the exact opposite. Ayesterán is keen for his team to make the fans forget all about last season. The Basque coach is conscious that it is vital to get the new season off to a good start to silence those who want to see a new face on the bench. Mestalla will get to see two of the team's reinforcements, Montoya and Medrán, while Mario Suárez will wait for his turn on the subs' bench. Without suspension-hit Nani and Rodrigo, opportunity knocks for Fede, or maybe even João Cancelo playing out wide on the right.
As for the visitors, all eyes will be on Argentine whizz kid Mateo García, striker Marko Livaja, Kevin-Prince Boateng and above all, Jonathan Viera - the heir to Juan Carlos Valerón's mythical No.21 shirt. Setién has a number of players out through injury, including Tana and possibly Sergio Araujo.