Javi Gracia has to invent a third of the new starting team to visit Levante this Friday. The losses due to sanction of José Luis Gayà, Carlos Soler, Uros Racic and Maxi Gómez force the Navarrese coach to reinvent himself and in the sports city of Paterna there have been 48 hours of tests.
The option to change players for players is the first and the most useful. In it, Toni Lato would cover Gayà on the left flank; Christian Oliva and Daniel Wass would occupy the center of the field; and Kevin Gameiro the leading edge. That possibility means looking for a substitute for the Danish on the right wing, which could be Yunus Musah or Álex Blanco or Gonçalo Guedes with a changed leg.
But Gracia has always said that for him the drawings are secondary and the 4-4-2 is not something sacred so he could bet on a 5-3-2. That option would allow him to re-enter Mouctar Diakhaby in defense without sacrificing Hugo Guillamón and both would accompany Gabriel Paulista. Thierry Correia and Lato would take advantage of their offensive tendency as wingers to give depth to the wings and Kang In Lee would delay his position to assume a more creative position in the center of the field, weakened by Wass and Oliva; and up front Gameiro and Guedes would move freely.
But this second bet could even have a second version in which Guillamón, with a great touch of the ball, could ‘go up’ to the center of the field to leave Kang In up and Wass as organizer. Of course, in that case Gracia would use Ferro or Mangala as the third center-back.
What seems clear is that Gracia will hide her plans as much as she can so as not to give clues to a Paco López who usually adapts to the drawing that his rivals put forward to find the tickles.