Valladolid vs Espanyol Preview

Valladolid manager Miroslav Djukic has reaffirmed his belief that his side can compete with anyone, but insists they must be at their best in every game.

Football News: Marc Valiente, Valladolid

Djukic's men put Rayo Vallecano to the sword last weekend with a stunning 6-1 victory and he is looking for more of the same on Saturday when they host bottom-placed side Espanyol.

He told Marca: "We are trying to make Zorrilla a fortress because we need to continue with these good feelings.

"It is one more game. We ought to be in a good rhythm and need to keep growing and improving.

"No one can win playing at 50%. We need to play at 120% to win any match. At our top level we can compete with anyone, if not then it is very difficult because in this league the teams are very evenly matched.

"Espanyol are a good team on the counter-attack because they leave two forwards up the pitch and any loss of possession could be fatal. It is their strongest point and although they have paid the price for not being consistent, at any moment they could be the Espanyol of before."

Djukic is expected to make just the one change from the Rayo game as Patrick Ebert is now fit enough to return to the starting line-up.

Espanyol, meanwhile, have endured a torrid week on and off the field as the board offered their resignation and club president Ramon Condal could be forced out in elections to be held in November.

Manager Mauricio Pochettino, though, is concentrating on solving their problems on the pitch and is targeting a first win of the season.

He told a press conference broadcast on the club's website: "I only want to speak about the sporting side, but we hope the future will be good for Espanyol. Our energies are invested in the game against Valladolid, this is the most important thing.

"The importance of the matches is already at its highest. It is impossible for us to go for the draw so we will go out aiming to play well and win."

The Argentinian is expected to recall Mubarak Wakaso after he was suspended for last week's 1-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid but summer signing Simao has been left out of the squad.



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