Date: 04.01.2015, 17:00 CET
17th matchday, La Liga
Coaches: Nuno Santos and Carlo AncelotiValencia CF Squad:
The new year is here and with it come new challenges, one of those new challenges for Valencia CF is Real Madrid the current table leader in Spain and one of the best teams the past year. It doesn't help that Real Madrid are coming to this match in great form, having won their last 21 official matches and will be looking to continue their record breaking run against Valencia CF tomorrow at the Mestalla.
Valencia CF have been in good form as well, having won their last 3 matches and beaten Rayo Vallecano in the cup in what was a second leg thriller game to continue forward in the Copa del Rey competition. Valencia CF also got a New Year's eve present in Enzo Perez who joined Valencia CF for 26 million euros from Benfica and who will be available to face against Real Madrid.
Valencia CF coach Nuno was trying out the midfield trio of Enzo Perez, Parejo and Gomes in training and unless he has a last minute change of hearth or something comes up, we should see those three starting and Enzo Perez would have his official debut for Valencia CF just days after transferring there and it will be excising to see him in a Valencia CF shirt and how he does. I hope the expectations aren't super high, after all he just came in and will need some time to gel and properly fit in, but he'll have a fast adaptation having played with Gomes and Moreno in Benfica.
Real Madrid showed a chip in their armor just 2 days ago when they lost to AC Milan 4-2 in a friendly match, but even though it was a friendly Real Madrid coach Carlo Anceloti fielded a strong squad, it was pretty much the same squad that has been destroying teams in La Liga and they lost. Its worthwhile mentioning that AC Milan aren't the best team out there, they've been mediocre this season, similar to the last one and are miles from the team that won championships left and right. So it was a weak AC Milan team against a very strong Madrid side and they managed to beat them.
So Nuno Santos has a blueprint to follow, he can watch that match and analyze exactly how Milan were able to win that game and what they did right, how he can implement that in his own team and he's had good 2 days to prepare the team for Real Madrid with tomorrow being the 3rd day.
Goalkeepers: Alves, Yoel
Defenders: Barragan, Vezo, Mustafi, Otamendi, Gaya, Orban
Midfielders: Parejo, Enzo, Gomes, Gil, Feghouli, Piatti, De Paul
Forwards: Negredo, Paco, Moreno
Technical Details Valencia CF (probable setups):
Line-up: Diego; Barragan, Mustafi, Otamendi, Gaya; Enzo, Parejo, Gomes; Feghouli, Negredo, Piatti.
Tactics: Low defensive line, own third pressure, long passing, deep laying defensive midfielder, counter attacks.
Valencia CF 3-2 Real Madrid
Valencia CF have been in good form, the team had a proper rest for several days and we've also gotten a big reinforcement in Enzo Perez, while Real Madrid have been in amazing form, but they showed a chip in their armor, AC Milan showed that they can be beaten in a strong fashion and AC Milan aren't the best team out there. So if Nuno can analyze Real Madrid's weaknesses and the team is able to properly shut them down in attack then Valencia can win. They aren't as strong in defense and if they don't get big opportunities in front of goal they can be beaten. I'm giving the slight edge to Valencia CF this time and predicting a 3-2 win for Valencia CF.