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Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Las Palmas can give Paco perfect start in Copa del Rey clash

Las Palmas on the defensive against Barcelona's Lionel Messi
1 of 1

Copa del Rey last 16, 8pm Wednesday

Among the hordes heading for Gran Canaria and some winter warmth is Paco Jemez, the man charged with bringing some sunshine back into the life of La Liga backmarkers Las Palmas.

Appointed last Wednesday, Paco’s first task will be to oversee the first leg of Las Palmas’ Copa del Rey clash with Valencia and it’s a tie they can win.

There were hints of improvement even before Jemez’s arrival – victory over Deportivo La Coruna in the last round plus four points out of six from their last two home games against Betis and Espanyol.

Jemez has immediately drafted in reinforcements with a trio of new signings, one of whom, Gabriel Penalba from Cruz Azul, is seen as the new Roque Mesa, whose boots haven’t been filled since he left for Swansea in the summer.

There’s no place for Loic Remy in the squad as the former Chelsea frontman prepares to be offloaded in the window but there’s an optimism at the Estadio Gran Canaria now that Paco becomes the club’s fifth manager in the past 12 months.

And they look to be taking on Valencia at a good time.

The La Liga high-flyers are under the watch of assistant Ruben Uria – head coach Marcelino is recovering from a car accident – and went off the boil before the Christmas break with three defeats in their last four.

Defenders Jeison Murillo and Javi Jimenez and midfielder Carlos Soler are injured while top scorer Simone Zaza has bagged only one goal in the last two months. They are also at home to Girona in the league in an early kick-off on Saturday so will almost certainly make tweaks to the team in the Canaries. 

Las Palmas draw no bet
1pt 6-4 Betfred

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There were hints of improvement even before Jemez’s arrival including victory over Deportivo La Coruna in the last round
E.W. Terms
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