Valencia vs Levante Muscle injury picked up this week
Valencia defender Gabriel Paulista has been left out of Albert Celades’ squad to face Levante in the derby due to a muscle injury caused in training on Monday.
Mouctar Diakhaby is the only senior centre-back available, with Ezequiel Garay ruled out after he tore his anterior cruciate ligament in February.
Gabriel’s hamstring strain will mean that he could also miss the clash against Real Madrid at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano on Thursday.
It’s a major setback for Celades, who may opt for Francis Coquelin as a makeshift centre-half or turn to youngster Hugo Guillamon, who made his debut against Real Sociedad.
Even with Diakhaby available, in the last game Valencia played, which was against Atalanta at Mestalla on March 10, the Frenchman was taken off at half-time after making two mistakes.
Geoffrey Kondogbia is suspended, so a lot may come down to what the Valencia boss wants to do with Coquelin – play him in midfield to cover Kondogbia or drop him into defence to cover Gabriel?
The other option is Eliaquim Mangala, although he is not a player Celades is a fan of and he has struggled with injury himself.