Our prediction for this match:
Valencia will look to build on back-to-back wins over Villarreal and Atromitos when they take on Cartagena in yet another pre-season friendly. Los Che kicked off their preparations for the new La Liga season in style, and it is no wonder the bookies see them as favourites to win Saturday’s friendly. A man to keep an eye on in the home team will be Goncalo Guedes, who scored as a substitute in the 3-0 win over Atromitos.
Russia international Denis Cheryshev should be recalled to the starting XI. Cartagena, on the other hand, head into the match following a 1-0 loss to Mallorca, and given Valencia’s form in pre-season, anything but a routine home win would be a major surprise. When the two teams met in a friendly last year Valencia defeated Cartagena 3-1, and we predict that the history is going to repeat itself.
Highlighted Player (Denis Cheryshev):
Probably the most famous Russian footballer never to have played for a domestic club, Denis Cheryshev was born in Nizhny Novgorod, but began his career at Sporting Gijon as his father played for the Spanish side at the time.
The talented winger eventually caught the eye of Real Madrid and went on to spend eight years in the youth academy at Santiago Bernabeu before he was given a chance to impress on senior level. Due to a fierce competition for places in Madrid, Cheryshev was forced to gain much needed first team experience via loan spells at Sevilla, Villarreal and Valencia, and he showed a great deal of potential during those stints, proving los Blancos were wrong to let him leave.
Chersyhev has been in and out of the Russia national team since making his debut in 2012, but there is a good chance he will become an important member of Sbornaya Komanda as soon as he secures regular playing time at club level. The Russian footballer is capable of operating on either wing or through the middle, and he has proved to be quite prolific in terms of both goals and assists.
Highlighted Team (Cartagena):
Founded on July 25, 1995, Cartagena is a Spanish football club that plays in La Liga 2. Los Boquerones dropped to Segunda B in the 2011/12 season, but following an eight-year absence, they returned to the Spanish second tier.
Cartagena play home matches at Cartagonova, the venue which can hold 15,105 spectators. The stadium was built by CMMP Arquitectos in 1987, and opened the following year. Real Murcia are regarded as the club’s main rivals, with the two teams facing each other in the Derbi of the Region of Murcia. Toche is leading Cartagena’s all-time top goalscoring chart with 39 goals.
Los Boquerones are well known for their black shirts with white stripes. Red, on the other hand, is the dominant colour of the club’s away kit. It has to be noted that Cartagena have never competed in la liga. The club’s highest ranking in the Segunda Division came in the 2009/10 season when they finished the campaign in 5th position in the standings.