Valencia CF played their 3rd preseason game on the 31.07 against German Hannover 96.
Valencia fielded the following starting players:
Moya; Alexis, Navarro, Dealbert, Jordi Alba; Joaquin, Fernandes, Topal, Vicente; Isco, Soldado
Valencia started the game in shy and scary fashion, allowing Hannover 96 to control most of the ball and letting it play and dictate the game. Valencia grew more confident as the match went on and a good corner kick saw Soldado head a goal in the opposition net in the 21st minute.
Hannover continued to control the game for most of the time, but a lucky semi-counter attack and a good one-two passing between Joaquin and Soldado made the score 2-0 for Valencia, as Joaquin chipped the ball past the goalkeeper and into the net.
Second half the same players were still on the field, first substitutions were Pablo and Feghuoli for Joaquin and Vicente respectively.
Between 73 and 75 minute Unai Emery changed the whole team. Valencia started playing better, especially in the midfield, but once again I didn't like the 2nd half central defenders.
Del Horno played horribly in center defense, Maduro as usual is very unreliable and the right back position is not covered at all. Between youth players and Alexis as a makeshift right back its the weakest point in Valencia team.
Youth team player Isco is showing signs of being a good player, but a lot more testing needs to be done and he needs to prove himself not only in these preseason matches, but under pressure in the official league, if he is being given a chance.
So far in the preseason matches I feel Topal has played great. Very good presence in midfield, excellent in defensive duties, keeps things simple and has been a good passer of the ball.
Jeremy Mathieu has been good, but not so much in the back, but rather when supporting the attack, he has contributed a lot to attack and is always an option to pass the ball to, but what he brings to offense he lacks in defense. I think he needs to work more on defensive skills and he is going to be great.
Soldado is also gaining good ground and he seems to be really incorporating well into the team.
Moya has actually surprised me in the 3 games so far, as he was really bad last season and very unreliable, but so far so good. He might actually be first choice for the next season and if he is reliable may as well stay first choice.
Pablo also seems very lively, his dribbling skills are really great and it seems as he is very motivated to play a huge role in the team. He has been very hard working so far, great dribbling skills and decent passing.
Anyways Hannover managed to get a reconsilation goal in the very last seconds to make the final score Hannover 1 - 2 Valencia.
Next game is against Olympic de Marseille on 01.08.2010. Yes, very strange, since it only gives the players less than 12 hours of rest, but we'll see, it may actually be postponed for a day.