Monday, September 26, 2011

Valencia CF vs Chelsea FC - Match Preview

Valencia CF vs Chelsea FC
Stadium: Mestalla
2nd fixture, Champions League
Expected attendance: 55.000
Coaches: Unai Emery and Andre Villas-Boas

Here we are once again facing Chelsea FC in the Champions Leauge. The last time Valencia CF faced Chelsea at the Mestalla was in year 2007 in September as well I think when Valencia CF lost 2-1.
Valencia took the lead after nine minutes back then when David Villa raced clear to beat Petr Cech, but was unable to keep the composure for 90 minutes and eventually lost 2-1.

New Chelsea FC signing Juan Mata will have a swift return to Valencia CF after the Group E draw and is going to return to Valencia CF wearing the opposition dress this time.

In his first press conference for Chelsea, Juan Mata said: "I have a wish that [the two clubs] will meet in the final of this season's Champions League." I guess his wish came true, but a lot sooner than he had wished.

Both teams are pretty much the same in quality with young managers on the helm, with Villas Boas reminding a bit of the Jose Mourinho story, since he was his assistant and then went on to become Porto manager and win everything with Porto and then transfer to Chelsea, albeit one year sooner than Mourinho.

Head to Head
12/12/2007 UEFA CL Chelsea vs Valencia Group B, matchday 2 0 - 0
04/10/2007 UEFA CL Valencia vs Chelsea Group B, matchday 1 1 - 2
11/04/2007 UEFA CL Valencia vs Chelsea Quarter Finals 1 - 2
05/04/2007 UEFA CL Chelsea vs Valencia Quarter Finals 1 - 1

Valencia CF is coming to this match after a hell of a week with FC Barcelona the first opponent, then Sevilla FC next and now Chelsea FC and apart from such a difficult weak it did great and will try to get the better of Chelsea and win as it has certainly shown that is has the quality to do so. Unai Emery doesn't have much room for maneuvering and must go for the win after an unexpected draw with Genk and is going to use the home matches to win against everyone.

Pablo Hernandez has been rested as he is one of the most important players for Valencia CF this season and should be fully ready to help the team try and win.On the other hand Banega, Mathieu, Rami, Ruiz and even Soldado played in the Sevilla match with all but Soldado starting the match.

Valencia CF lost the match against Sevilla FC 1-0 and I've written a technical report on it explaining why Valencia CF played bad in the first half, how and why it improved in the second half and why Emery's substitutions worked against us.
But that is behind us now and the focus in on Chelsea FC who are a dangerous opponent and the players will need to play at their best and be fully focused to beat them.

Valencia CF coach Unai Emery had this to say in the press-conference: "Tomorrow is a big game with the usual complications, but we feel confident. We know all about Chelsea but also know that we are a very strong side, even more so here at Mestalla. We are only focused on ourselves and want to produce a great game and a victory for our fans. Tomorrow every player wearing blue [including Mata] will be our enemy.

Chelsea defend and attack their own way, and we'll try to exploit this and hurt them. I expect a physical game and we have to be switched on. We respect all our rivals but this doesn't affect our philosophy of playing football.

We want a full stadium and it's our responsibility to put on a great show so the fans can enjoy a great game. I can't promise victory, but we will give our all to get one. We played our best match of the season against Barcelona [2-2 last Wednesday], but every opponent is different and we have to adapt to them.

In the Champions League there are many great teams, and we're one of them. Chelsea were the top seeds and we were in the second pot, but the favorites don't always win"

Valencia CF squad:
Goalkeepers: Vicente Guaita, Diego Alves.
Defenders: Bruno, Miguel, Ricardo Costa, Rami, Víctor Ruiz, Mathieu, Jordi Alba.
Midfielders: Albelda, Maduro, Éver, Feghouli, Pablo, Parejo, Piatti, Canales.
Forwards: Jonas, Adúriz, Soldado.

Chelsea FC on the other hand is coming to this match after a big victory in the Premier League against the newly promoted team Swansea and they completely destroyed them even with one man less. Torres scored his fourth goal I believe, but was later on given a red card and would be thankful that his team managed to beat Swansea easily even without him.

Juan Mata played 60 minutes in the game and provided the assist to Torres for the first goal, he was quite dangerous on the left side all the way until he was substituted.
Whether Juan Mata play against Valencia CF is still unknown as Chelsea manager Boas may think its too early of a return to Valencia and Mata may not give his best, so we'll have to see.

Chelsea FC have also made a great start to the Champions League and they beat Bayern Leverkuzen in their first match, so right now they are the group leaders and are surely planning to leave the Mestalla with at least one point from it.
In their match against Leverkuzen Luiz came in and scored a fantastic goal who he himself started and set up basically, but he has not featured in the premier league at all, so this may be his chance to start and personally I don't know why he hasn't been starting in the Premier League, I mean they did spend 20 million on him last season and he was supposed to be Terry's hair, but it seems everyone so far is ahead of him right now.

Lampard has also gotten the back seat treatment as well, as his showing this season has been underwhelming and former Liverpool men Meireles is chosen over him. Meireles just joined this summer and has been quite the regular for Chelsea considering, with Malouda also loosing his place to Mata, although Malouda has been benched quite often last season as well.

Anyways there are no reported injuries for Chelsea and all of their squad is fit to play and its definitely going to be an interesting game.

Chelsea FC manager Andre Villas-Boas had this to say at the press conference: "Valencia will be extremely motivated. They had a good game against Barcelona but lost last weekend against Sevilla. They will try to get the three points. In the first game they only got a draw when they expected three points. We have to believe in our philosophy, the game will be very fast and intense, and if we get to win the three points tomorrow we will be in a very good position to go through.

'I am very good friends with [Valencia coach Unai Emery]. I think he is one of the best in the country. He has been extremely successful here in Spain and I hope one day he will go to England in the Premiership because the philosophy is very similar to what Unai believes in. I am very impressed by the way Valencia play football and by the way Unai motivates his players.'

Chelsea FC squad: to be announced...

Technical Details Valencia CF (probable setups) Updated 28.09.11:
Formation: 4-2-3-1
Line-up: Diego; Miguel, Rami, Ruiz, Mathieu; Banega, Tino Albelda; Pablo, Canales, Piatti Alba; Soldado.
Tactics: Medium defensive line, all round pressure, positional changes from the wingers, 3 way attacks, mixed passing.

Technical Details Chelsea FC (probable setups):
Formation: 4-3-3
Line-up: Cech; Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry, Cole; Ramires, Mikel, Meireles; Anelka, Torres, Mata.
Tactics: Medium defensive line, own half closing, three way attacks, free role Mata, mostly short passing.

Result Prediction:
Valencia CF 2-1 Chelsea FC
Well hopefully Emery has learned not to experiment with formations especially against tough opposition and hopefully he'll return to the 4-2-3-1 formation. This is going to be a tough match and there is no telling what may happen, but I expect if Valencia play with full focus and desire as against Barcelona we can win this match. Chelsea are dangerous in attack because they use brute force, since Mata has joined they have a little bit more flair and finesse, but they are still mostly a brute force team so our players will need to be ruthless in their tackles to gain an advantage.
I think Valencia CF will take this match 2-1, but ultimately anything can happen.