Simone Zaza was an unused substitute as Valencia continued their unbeaten start to the season with a 2-0 victory away at Espanyol, the Italy striker still feeling a little discomfort in his knee after picking up an injury on international duty.
However, the second highest scorer in this season’s LaLiga to date has no intention of sitting out the visit of leaders Barcelona next weekend, and the opportunity to peg Leo Messi back in the Pichichi stakes in a direct duel with the current top marksman in the division.
Zaza emerges as nearest challenger to Leo Messi
On Tuesday the striker, who has hit nine goals in the league this season to Messi’s 12, trained in some discomfort, pausing occasionally to speak to team doctor Luis Silvestre, in among slamming home various searing strikes.
Despite the evident discomfort in his knee, Zaza stayed behind after most of the rest of the squad had left the complex, putting in extra shooting practice alongside keeper Jaume and defender Rúben Vezo, even taking a turn in between the sticks as he looks to get back to full fitness ahead of the game of the weekend.