April 13, 2013
Colotto focused on survival
Team Stat Comparison
|Goals for *||1.3||1.3|
|Goals against *||1.5||1.5|
|Last 5 home||L-D-L-D-D||W-W-W-W-W|
|Last 5 away||L-L-L-W-W||L-W-W-L-D|
|* Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club|
|Stats: Espanyol | Valencia|
|3/9||H: Elche||3/9||H: Athletic Bilbao|
|3/15||A: Atletico Madrid||3/16||A: Real Sociedad|
|3/22||H: Levante||3/23||H: Villarreal|
|3/25||A: Malaga||3/27||A: Almeria|
|3/29||H: Barcelona||3/30||H: Getafe|
Espanyol defender Diego Colotto has said the club must put any talk of European football on hold until they have reached 42 points, a figure that will theoretically guarantee them survival.
The Catalan club will obtain the fabled 42 points if they can beat Valencia at home on Saturday, and Colotto believes that getting to that particular milestone will be hugely significant to the club considering the awful start they made to the season.
He told reporters: "The first and only objective we have right now is to get to 42 points. Three months ago, that goal was looking very ambitious. Once we have achieved it, we can assess what our other objectives are.''
The chance to get to 42 points in front of the club's fans at the Cornella El Prat stadium, and to do so by beating a team of the stature and quality of Valencia, is another motive for the Argentinian.
"I hope we can secure our survival at home so that our fans can enjoy it, and also because we are up against a club that are always near the top of the league every season,'' he added.
Colotto has a further reason for wanting to beat Valencia - he believes that Javier Aguirre, who has taken the club from the bottom of the Primera Division table to 12th position in just over three months in charge, will be offered a new contract by the club once the team's place in the top flight is confirmed.
"I hope the club will be able to give us the news that he [Aguirre] is going to continue once we get to 42 points,'' he said.
Midfielder Juan Forlin believes that reaching 42 points would compensate for the club's poor start to the season.
"I don't know if it'd be something to celebrate, but if we can get to that figure it would be revenge for our bad start to the league season, because turning things around has been very difficult,'' he told a press conference.
Valencia have higher ambitions than their opponents for Saturday's game, as a victory would temporarily take them above Real Sociedad and into fourth, the final Champions League spot.
The club's financial problems make qualification for Europe's elite competition more urgent than ever, and coach Ernesto Valverde admitted that ensuring Valencia get into the competition again was part of his job description.
He said: "In every game we are playing for the chance to be in the Champions League next season. When I arrived I was told that I had a job to do and had to try to get the results that would take the team towards the top of the table.''
Espanyol have a full squad to choose from with the exception of Samuele Longo, who is still recovering from a shoulder injury, while centre-back Victor Ruiz, who has not played in over a month, is Valencia's only injury concern.