Time for Valencia CF vs Malaga match preview:
The second half of the season begins for Valencia tomorrow when they face Malaga at the Mestalla. The club has made an interesting innitiative for the fans to come to the stadium and tomorrow will be for all the fans to wear their scarf's and lift them in the air. There will also be prizes for hand out to the "best" supporters.
Unai Emery has his hands full this time around and will have problems selecting the starting eleven. For a lack of better term the "problem" comes with the recent string of good results and which players to choose, as players like R. Costa and Navarro are back for a while now, as well as midfielder Ricardo Tino Costa and Joaquin.
Valencia CF has played great with Stankevisious and Dealbert at the defense and Maduro and Banega in midfield and so choosing the right starting eleven will be difficult.
Last match Vicente got a chance to start and really impressed with his performance. Pablo has also been out of his slump for the last few matches and is currently in top form and again do you play Pablo who is currently in great form or the more consistent Joaquin who has returned from his 2 matches suspension after the verbal assault on one of the referees after the Villarreal match in the Copa Dell Rey.
Valencia cf managed to win the first match against Malaga by 3 goals to 1 and it was a fairly comfortable victory without too much struggle. This time around Malaga has been reinforced with few new names and is hoping to make a positive start of their own.
There has been some reports that suggest Vicente got injured on today's training session and will not be able to play. This is yet to be confirmed though and I'm hoping its a false alarm.
Valencia CF squad:
Goalkeepers: Vicente Guaita, Saúl Figueroa
Defenders: Miguel Brito, Ángel Dealbert, Ricardo Costa, Marius Stankevičius, Jordi Alba, Jérémy Mathieu
Midfielders: Hedwiges Maduro, Mehmet Topal, Éver Banega, Tino Costa, Pablo Hernández, Joaquín Sánchez, Sofiane Feghouli, Juan Mata
Strikers: Aritz Aduriz, Roberto Soldado
Malaga on the other hand has been quite poor for much of the first half of the season and their rich owner was forced to spend a few more millions in the winter transfer market to strengthen the squad.
Even Pelegrini who is a renowned coach in Spain couldn't make Malaga team work and they are still in real danger of falling to the second division and only achieving good results in the second half of the season can guide them above any danger of relegation.
Julio Baptista is one of the new names in Malaga and although a little short of match fitness he is quite big reinforcement for the team. He was also quite confident that they can win against Valencia and is hopeful of a great start to their "new" season. Fact is that several Malaga players and their coach have called this a new start and the team is full of optimism, which in turn is bad news for Valencia, as Malaga probably won't be pushovers and will put up a fight this time around.
Malaga squad: to be announced...
Valencia CF Technical:
Line up: Guaita; Miguel, Stankevicious, R. Costa, Mathieu; Pablo, Maduro, Tino, Mata, Dominguez, Aduriz.
Tactics: Low frequency crosses from the wings, positional changes from the 2 wingers, very high defensive line, high opposing field pressure, forward rotation.
Valencia CF 3-1 Malaga
I am going to predict the same result as in the first match between these two sides. Malaga may have strengthen their squad in this transfer window, but Valencia are still a far superior side to them and with the latest calls of Unai Emery for improved efficiency in front of goal, I have every reason to believe that they have achieved good results in that department with the whole week they had of training.
Malaga new players also lack match fitness and are even unlikely to feature, since they mostly sat on their previous clubs benches.
It is also possible that Valencia will keep a clean sheet as the recent results suggest such an option, though I don't want to be too optimistic and I'm calling it a 3-1 win for Valencia.