Preview: Valencia CF vs Sevilla FC
Pre-match reports


Lopetegui's side are out to leave behind the weekend's events and extend their strong form in the league, but face a difficult trip to Mestalla
Cuerpo Superior

Now that everything about last weekend's cup tie has been left firmly in the past, it's time for a return to league actionSevilla FC face a trip to Mestallawhich is always a difficult taskas they look to continue their strong run of form. After picking up 13 points from a possible 15, Julen Lopetegui's team face a Valencia side who have lost their last two in the league: a home defeat to Espanyol and a loss a few days ago at the Bernabéu. However, Sevilla travel to the east coast with a lengthy list of absenteeswhich continues to grow, making tonight's fixture ever more challenging. 

The team have had only two days to focus fully on this fixture, as have Valencia, who came out on top in their cup fixture on Sunday, a 1-0 win away at Atlético Baleares. Traditionally, Sevilla tend to struggle for results at Mestalla, but, just before the Christmas break last seasonthe team won there for the first time since 2012 thanks to a late goal from Suso. As for the injury list, in addition to the long-term absentees, Lopetegui will have to wait to find out the fitness of those who missed the match at the weekend, such as Fernando Reges and Marko Dmitrovic. 

Again, many players will face late fitness checks

As for the hosts, they are looking to get back to winning ways in their quest for European football next season, after the little set-back over the past few weeks. Bordalás's side are tenth in the leaguejust four points off the Europa League spotsGabriel Paulista is the only player who will definitely miss out, while Wass, Hélder Costa and Manu Vallejo are all doubts. However, it seems that Carlos Soler has recovered and will start for Valencia. 

Following the last-minute withdrawal of Cuadra Fernández, César Soto Grado will be the referee for tonight's matchHe has just taken charge of the Spanish Super Cup finalHe has only officiated four Sevilla fixtures, which all ended as wins. Two seasons ago, he took charge of the away fixtures at Escobedo in the cup and Leganés in the league, and last season's home wins against Celta and Villarreal. He has also only refereed four Valencia matches, with a record of two wins, a draw and a defeat, including this season's draw against Atlético and the cup win against Utrillas. Estrada Fernández is on VAR duty.