Valencia are getting ready to play “the game of their lives” at Almeria on Saturday, a must-win clash to guarantee a top-four finish in the Spanish La Liga and Champions League football next season. The top three teams in Spain’s top flight qualify directly for Europe’s elite club competition next season and the side that finishes fourth goes through Champions League qualifying.
Heading into the final round of the season, Valencia sit fourth, one point clear of Sevilla and three adrift of third-placed Atletico Madrid, and boss Nuno knows they must come out on top this weekend.
“This is the game of our lives and we cannot have doubts,” Nuno said to the Spanish press. “All will be decided in the final round and everything is possible, even for us to finish third. We are going to go there to win and to clinch a Champions League qualifying place for next season.”
Valencia nearly upset Real Madrid at the Bernabeu in the previous round but drew 2-2 and then failed to clinch three points as they were held to a 1-1 result at home to Celta Vigo on Sunday.
“Considering the chances we had, a win would have been a fair result,” Nuno said. “But we must move on from this disappointment. My players can bounce back immediately. We will need our fans to come and support us in Almeria.”
But it will not be easy for Nuno’s side as they have not win away from home since beating Elche 4-0 on 20 March, but the Valencia boss s optimistic his team can get the job done in Almeria. To complicate matters for Valencia though, Almeria need to win to have a chance of avoiding relegation.
“We have the right attitude and the necessary optimism that is needed,” Nuno said. “We want to grow without limits. We know our journey doesn’t stop today, nor in the next game. It will continue as long as we keep up that fighting spirit.”