Osasuna improved instantly under new coach Jose Luis Mendilibar, winning three out of the Basque coach’s first five games at the club to move well clear of the relegation zone. But things have been difficult since then for the Pamplona-based outfit, now back in the bottom three following four straight losses. The last of those was a 2-0 defeat at Barcelona last weekend, a game Osasuna will have been expected to lose. But the northerners now face another difficult clash on Sunday, when they host third-placed Valencia. “We have to show that nobody can throw us out of the top flight,” striker Javier Camunas said. Masoud Shojaei and Miguel Flano are set to miss out through injury, but Ruper is back after six months on the sidelines and Walter Pandiani is also available again.
Valencia coach Unai Emery was furious after his side was thrashed 6-3 at home to Real Madrid last weekend. Emery claimed he was disgusted with that performance, particularly as his team has been so impressive in its previous home game – a 5-0 victory over fourth-placed Villarreal. “We let them do what they want for an hour and we can’t play like that,” he said. “I am still furious and I expect better when we play Osasuna, which won’t be easy,” he added. Valencia travels to Osasuna on Sunday. “It will be a difficult game and a hostile atmosphere, so we’ll have to be at our best,” striker Aritz Aduriz said. Strike partner Roberto Soldado has scored eight in the last four games.