Saturday, October 1, 2011

Valencia CF vs Granada CF - Match Preview

Valencia CF vs Granada CF
Stadium: Mestalla
October 1st 2nd 2011; 20:00CET
7th matchday, La Liga
Expected Attendance: 36.000
Coaches: Unai Emery and Fabri Gonzalez

After going through one of the toughest weeks in the last 10 years through top teams like Barcelona, Sevilla and Chelsea and even getting good results considering Valencia CF will have a bit of a breather, but only for a moment, because Granada is a dangerous team and if the team goes overconfident or too relaxed it may just end up loosing.
Still though considering Valencia CF played 4 matches in 11 days, 3 of which top clubs, its great that we have a weaker opposition to play with and after this match we'd have a bit of a breather, although some players have been called to international duty so they are not going to get much rest after this.

Valencia CF as I've said is coming to this match after one of the most difficult 11 days in which it played against 4 teams, 3 of which top opposition. Against Barcelona it was a great match in which Valencia presented a big challenge and even had its chances to win, but in the end ultimately it was a good result for both teams. Then only few days later they traveled to Sevilla and just as history showed Valencia lost 1-0 and played quite bad. Valencia had chances to win as Sevilla were reduced to 9 men, but then Aritz Aduriz got himself send off and Banega missed a penalty. Last match was against Chelsea FC in the Champions League at the Mestalla and it ended in a 1-1 draw. Valencia scored from a penalty, while Diego Alves had an amazing match in which he saved 4-5 shots in the span of just 5 minutes and saved the team from loosing badly.

Valencia coach Unai Emery after the Chelsea match said that the attack must improve and I fully agree with him. Right now with Mata playing for Chelsea we lack a player on the wings that is going to play deeper, drop in the penalty area and help out the attacker by having people track him. Pablo isn't that guy and while he is very versatile, he is not naturally a deep winger, Piatti is also not a deep winger and with his poor passing and crossing is actually best suite for attack and not even on the wings. Feghuoli hasn't played much and from when he's played he seems more comfortable going deep, but its too early to say and Mathieu is a left back and lets not kid ourselves. He is fast and has good crossing ability, but in matches like Chelsea it shows he is not a winger.

So right now Emery will need to find either a player that can drop deeper or have some new tactics as to how the team can score goals, because right now apart from crosses and the rare through passes players don't have ideas on how to score. For example we only have one long range shooter in Tino and he still doesn't try to shoot from distance very much and players from the wings don't cut inside the penalty area and no one even dribbles outside the opposition area to get away past 1 or two players and create a chance. So right now Emery has to work around the problem or find a solution, but I'd expect us to be more dangerous against Granada either way.

Everyone except Topal is fully fit, the only absences for sure are Topal who is still recovering from injury and Aduriz who is serving his one match ban after the red card with Sevilla and Paco is looking likely to take his place as he was training with the first team this week.

Valencia CF squad:
Goalkeepers: Guaita, Diego Alves.
Defenders: Miguel, Barragán, Rami,Víctor Ruiz, Ricardo Costa, Mathieu.
Midfielders: Albelda, Maduro, Tino Costa, Éver, Parejo, Piatti, Pablo, Feghouli, Canales.
Forwards: Jonas, Paco Alcácer, Soldado.

Granada CF is based in the same named town Granada, in the autonomous community of Andalusia. The club finished fifth in Segunda, but by winning the promotion playoffs they were promoted to La Liga.
The 2010/11 La Liga Play-Off took place in June 2011. This was Segunda's first season with purely promotion play-offs since 1986–87 and the first time play offs had been used for movement between the first and second tier since 1998-99. This new promotion phase (known as Promoción de ascenso) was introduced to determine the third team which promoted to 2011/12 La Liga. Teams placed between 3rd and 6th position, excluding reserve teams, took part in the promotion play-offs.

Granada basically earned the promotion with the help of mostly on-loan Udinese players last season. This season they got five Udinese players on-loan and 3 from Benfica.

So far Granada CF has had a mixed start with 3 losses, 1 draw and 1 win. Their win also comes against Villarreal so that either speaks that Granda are quite good or that Villarreal are quite weak this season. Granada is currently 17th position on the table with only four points out of five matches and will be looking to make their biggest progress by at least getting a point against Valencia and if anything they certainly won't need to be pumped up for this match against the big favorite Valencia.

Granada CF squad:
Goalkeepers: Roberto, Julio César
Defenders: Diakhaté, Íñigo López, Mainz, Nyom, Siqueira
Midfielders: Abel Gómez, Dani Benítez, Fran Rico, Martins, Mikel Rico, Yebda, Mollo, Jaime Romero
Forwards: Ighalo, Geijo, Uche

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

Technical Details Granada CF (probable setups):
Formation: 4-4-2
Line-up: Roberto; Diakathe, Siqueria, Nyom, Mainz; Yebda, Hurtado, Geijo, Benitez; Uche, Jara.
Tactics: Low defensive line, park the bus, crosses and counter attacks.

Result Prediction:
Valencia CF 3-0
Valencia is playing at home, it has had decent amount of time to rest and prepare and considering Granada has been playing mostly bad, with the exception of their last match I fully expect Valencia to win comfortably. The only debatable thing is the scoreline, whether its going to be 2-0 or more.

Betting odds:
Valencia 1.38
draw 5.30
Granada 12.00