Monday, September 12, 2011

KRC Genk vs Valencia CF - Match Preview

kRC Genk vs Valencia CF
Stadium: Cristal Arena
1st fixture, Champions League
Expected attendance: 24.500
Coaches: Mario Been and Unai Emery

The first Champions League matchday is upon us and just as last season ended the new one begins. Last year Valencia CF managed to reach the round of 16 in the champions league and met Schalke 04 who was considered an easy opponent and the hopes were really high that Valencia CF would go through, but Schalke 04 turned out to be very resilient and defensively sound making it very hard to penetrate them and it didn't help that Aritz Aduriz had the worst match probably of his life, missing key chances to give Valencia CF the lead.

At Germany they held Valencia CF at 1-1 until Valencia put everything forward in an attempt to win and that's when on the counter attack Schalke scored 2 more goal to beat Valencia CF and almost make it look easy.

The new draw has been positive for Valencia CF, avoiding the major clubs and more importantly the group of death; group A. Valencia CF was drawn in group E along with Chelsea FC, Bayern Leverkusen and our first opponent KRC Genk from Belgium. 

In 2002–03, KRC Genk reached the Champions League group stages for the first time in their history. Although they came 4th, they impressed fans with draws against Real Madrid, AS Roma and AEK Athens.
Now KRC Genk reached the group stages of the UEFA Champions League for the second time in its history.

KRC Genk is a Belgian professional football club based in the city of Genk in Belgian Limburg. Racing Genk plays in the Belgian Pro League and they have won 3 Belgian champion titles in 1998–99, in 2001–02 and in 2010–11 as well as 3 Belgian Cups, most recently in 2008–09. They qualified for the UEFA Champions League group stage, after beating Maccabi Haifa. They did so in the 2002–03 season, and finished 4th of their group with 4 points.

Right now KRC Genk are 8th place in the Jupiter league out of 16 teams with 2 wins, 3 draws and 1 loss for a total of 9 points. So its not been a perfect start for them and will look to bounce back as soon as possible, but ultimately with all due respect they are very likely to finish in 4th place in the group and Valencia should hopefully win both matches against Genk.

Genk have been a bit of shifters if I may call it that, in that they've never been consistent. One season they will qualify in Champions League and the next they will barely finish mid table. They also lack Champions League experience and this will work against them. The biggest thing to get out of the Champions League for Genk would be a 3rd place finish to qualify for Europa League and get as much money from the Champions League as possible.

Genk squad:
Sandomierski, Hubert, Hyland, Tozser, Vossen, Vanden Borre, Camus, Anele, Simaeys, Barda, Buffel, Nadson, Dugary, Durwael, Köteles, Kennedy, Ogunjimi, Lenz, Pudil and Limbombe.

Valencia CF are coming to this match confident in their ability to win and even though Valencia CF coach Unai Emery has said that Valencia is not going to take Genk lightly and that they can pose danger, he knows that this should be a comfortable win for Valencia CF and realistically anything else would be a pretty big surprise and disappointment, especially when Valencia has Bayern Leverkusen and Chelsea as the other competing clubs. There can be no room for disappointment and failure is not an option. This is a must win match if Valencia CF are to get out of the group stages and into the round of 16.

Valencia just won against Atletico Madrid in their 3rd match in La Liga, although technically second as the first one was postponed due to the players strike. Anyways the win against Atletico should give the players a boost in their confidence and they should come out blazing for the match against Genk.

Unai Emery rested Ever Banega and Mehmet Topal as they played against Racing and then went on international duty with their countries and should be really fresh for this match.
Bruno Saltor has come back from injury and would be ready for the Genk match although he is likely not to be risked, even though Emery has terrible relationship with Miguel.

We could also see Emery bring Maduro and Dani Parejo as substitutes for the first time and rest Jonas and Albelda. Or as the squad is announced Albelda is also going to be in it.

Valencia CF squad (updated 12.09.11):
Goalkeepers: Diego Alves, Guaita, Cristiano.
Defenders: Miguel, Barragan, Ricardo Costa, Rami, Víctor Ruiz, Mathieu, Jordi Alba.
Midfielders: Albelda, Maduro, Topal, Ever, Pablo, Feghouli, Parejo, Piatti, Canales.
Forwards: Aduriz, Soldado.

Technical Details KRC Genk (probable setups):
Formation: 4-4-2
Line-up: Koteles; Simaeys, Ngonka, Toszer, Hubert; Pudil, Nadson, Nwangnga, Barda; Buffel, Vossen.
Tactics: Low defensive line, double defensive line, wing attacks, crosses and counter attacks.

Technical Details Valencia CF (probable setups):
Formation: 4-2-3-1
Line-up: Diego; Miguel, Rami, Ruiz, Alba; Topal, Banega; Feghuoli, Parejo, Canales; Aduriz.
Tactics: High defensive line, all round pressure, interchangeable midfield, conversion to 4-3-3, mixed passing.

Result Prediction:
KRC Genk 0-3 Valencia CF
As much as I think Genk shouldn't be taken lightly, its still impossible not to expect a fully open play by Valencia and a complete domination over Genk.They would be dangerous from counter attacks, but if the defense is solid then Valencia will win this 3-0 easily.