Friday, October 14, 2011

RCD Mallorca vs Valencia CF - Match Preview

RCD Mallorca vs Valencia CF
Stadium: Iberostar
15 October 2011; 18:00CET
8th matchday, La Liga
Expected attendance: 20.000
Coaches: Joaquín Caparrós and Unai Emery

The international fixtures are over and club football is about to start again with Valencia CF traveling to the town of Palma, Majorca at the Iberostar stadium to face the home team RCD Mallorca. 

The last match for Valencia CF was against Granada and resulted in a small win for us, courtesy of a Canales goal in the first half. Since then we've had few players go on international duty with their countries. Jordi Alba actually got his first call up to the team and also debuted as starter and played great, providing an assist to Silva for the first goal and defending calmly and easily. Other players that were on international duty were Ever Banega, Rami, Mathieu, Ricardo Costa, Maduro, Pereira and Jonas. Unfortunately Maduro got injured in training and recently had an operation and would be out for at least 4 months.
As far as Mallorca goes I think only Chori Castro was called up, as he's a regular in Uruguay since 2005, Dudu Aouate as well and maybe Pablo as well, but don't take my word for it on this one.

RCD Mallorca is the oldest club in the Balearic Islands, Mallorca was originally founded in 1916 by Adolfo Vázquez, a republican engineer, who named the club Junta Directiva del Alfonso XIII FBC after the then Spanish king.

RCD Mallorca has had a mixed start so far with 3 loses in the first three matches, but it has come around the last two matches and won against Real Sociedad and drew their last game with Osasuna away from home. Right now they are 9th position on the table and facing Valencia.

RCD Mallorca finished 6th in 2010 and was supposed to play in the Europe League, but due to the poor financial situation at the club, UEFA decided on 22 July 2010 against granting Mallorca the licence to play in the 2010–11 UEFA Europa League.

RCD Mallorca fired Michael Laudrup and brought in new coach Joaquin Caparros who is a very experienced and great coach that led clubs like Villarreal and most importantly Sevilla for 5 years achieving quite the success and setting up the team for great things in the future with transferring players like Jose Antonio Reyes and Sergio Ramos from the B team to the first team and earlier he also discovered someone by the name of Marchena. With the signings of Júlio Baptista, Adriano, Daniel Alves and Renato he made a team to be reckoned with, but of course the Sevilla leadership wasn't looking to win titles, but to make profits and one after another sold his best players like Dani Alves and Sergio Ramos to the current top two clubs. 
Anyways he is a very experienced coach and will deeply analyze Valencia's play and try and counter us directly. Mallorca players would also not be short of motivation for this match and will likely go 110% percent ready and try to get a positive result.

RCD Mallorca squad: to be announced...

Valencia CF on the other hand is fifth on the table with 13th points, same as Real Madrid and Malaga and only one point less than Barcelona and Levante who are top two in the table. Even though Levante are playing really good right now I'm expecting them to fizzle out in the next three or four fixtures, while on the other hand I'm expecting Sevilla and Atletico Madrid to start climbing and possibly threatening out position.

This week though we have an easy fixture considering and we should be looking to take three points when we visit Mallorca. We must take these easier games so that if we fail against tougher or equal opposition we have sort of safety cushion.

The last two weeks were for national football and Unai Emery had ample time to work with the team on the shortcomings, like the attack for example and I'd expect our goalscoring to be more proficient and improved.

Most players are available to the coach except for Hedwiges Maduro who got injured in training with the national team and Tino Costa who just got injured in training and the extent of his injury will be known at a later date. David Albelda and Mehmet Topal are fully fit now though and ready to play.

Valencia CF squad:
Goalkeepers: Guaita, Diego Alves
Defenders: Barragán, Bruno, Víctor Ruiz, Rami, Dealbert, Jordi Alba, Mathieu
Midfielders: Albelda, Mehmet Topal, Parejo, Feghouli, Pablo Hernández, Piatti, Canales
Forwards: Jonas, Soldado, Aduriz.

Technical Details Valencia CF (probable setups):
Formation: 4-2-3-1
Line-up: Guaita; Barragan, Rami, Ruiz, Mathieu; Albelda, Parejo; Feghuoli, Canales, Pablo; Soldado.
Tactics: High defensive line, all round pressure, interchangeable attacking trio, mixed passing.

Technical Details RCD Mallorca (probable setups):
Formation: 4-4-2
Line-up: Aouate; Zuiverloon, Ramis, Caceres, Chico; Pereira, Marti, Pina, Victor; Alfaro, Nsue.
Tactics: Low defensive line, park the bus, crosses and counter attacks.

Result Prediction:
RCD Mallorca 0-2 Valencia CF
RCD Mallorca just changed coaches two weeks ago and even though they have done decent in their last two matches they probably still are ways off tactically and individually so a team like Valencia CF should and must take advantage of that. I'd expect Emery to have worked with the team in attacking moves and tactics and I expect improvement in that area. Our defense is also pretty good, so I don't expect any leaks there.