Manuel Martinez Valero

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Valencia and Elche braced for derby

Dani Parejo is desperate for Valencia to come away from their first-ever competitive meeting against local rivals Elche with all three points.

Los Che have endured an ordinary start to the season with five wins from their opening 13 Primera Division matches, which has left the east-coast side ninth in the standings, already 20 points adrift of league leaders Barcelona.

While they were never realistically in the running for the domestic title, defeat at the Martinez Valero on Sunday would see the recently-promoted Elche move above them in the standings.

And that is unthinkable for Parejo and Valencia.

"For us, it is a very important game because we play for more than three points," Parejo told the Spanish media.

"Valencia always field to win and Sunday will be no different. The team is aware that there is a lot at stake and we have to win."

Valencia boss Miroslav Dukic can take comfort from his side's recent form, where they are unbeaten in their last three matches in all competitions.

Elche, by contrast, have taken two points from their last four games although they can be heartened by coming away from sixth-placed Getafe with a 1-1 draw before the international break.

Their objective this season would have been different to that of Valencia, with retaining their place in La Liga the primary objective.

Yet victory on Sunday could take them into the top half of the table, with manager Fran Escriba hoping a large crowd can spur them on to victory.

"The game against Valencia will be a nice game, not only for being a derby and because we play in front of our fans, but by the number of people attending," Escriba told the club's official website.

Not that Escriba is underestimating their opponents.

"Valencia is a great club and I do they will be dangerous opponents."

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