Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Chelsea FC vs Valencia CF - Match Preview

Chelsea FC vs Valencia CF
Stadium: Stamford Bridge
6th fixture, Champions League
Expected attendance: 42.000
Coaches: Andre Villas-Boas and Unai Emery

Here we are once again meeting Chelsea in the Champions League and who would have thought its for a spot in the last sixteen as neither team has managed to guarantee a place as Valencia CF failed to win in the first match against Genk and Chelsea lost in the last match against Leverkusen and thus in the last round both team will fight for a place in the round of 16 and there is only one slot left.

Theoretically both Chelsea and Valencia could qualify, but Genk would have to win against Leverkusen and Chelsea and Valencia drawing, which judging from their last game is not going to happen.

Both managers have come out and said they are going for victory and Emery wants Valencia to score early so it can close out the match routinely, although I have a feeling its going to be anything but routinely. With both midfields suffering as Lampard has been under-performing and Ever Banega while traveled to London is supposedly still injured and can't perform its going to be up to the teams attacks where the game is going to be decided. 

Chelsea FC are coming to this match after a series of bad results and sort of a mini-crisis, although they won their last match against Newcastle convincingly 3-0. Newcastle also had a great defensive record prior to that match and so while probably not 100% back to form, Chelsea are looking better and better and from my deep analysis before this match their problem was David Luiz and Frank Lampard. They pretty much performed miserably and are mostly to blame. Hopefully Boas won't realize this and will play both of them against Valencia.

Juan Mata and Sturridge have been the best performing players in Chelsea, with Terry closely following with mostly reliable performances at the back. There has been talk that Anelka has been sold or very close to it and if the reports are true it will mean he won't feature in the team and that leaves them with the old Drogba, still inexperienced Sturridge and the out of form and misfiring Torress. 

Can Chelsea put it together and fire up for this match to beat Valencia and qualify for the last 16 or will they continue in their slump and fail miserably at the hands of Valencia!

Valencia CF on the other hand are coming off a more modest win on the weekend against Espanyol, but it was a hard fought victory and one that will surely boost the team confidence coming to this match against Chelsea. Roberto Soldado has also been firing on all 8 cylinders and scored a goal within minutes of coming on against Espanyol giving Valencia the victory. Tonight we'll need him to be precise and 100% on target if Valencia is to win.

Our midfield will also need to be working 110% to be able to cope with the 4-3-3 formation of Chelsea who are going to have a man more in midfield, although our 4-2-3-1 formation is more flexible in that you can easily put 6 people in attack and 5 people in defense really fast, although that requires a lot of running.

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

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

Result prediction
Valencia CF 1-1 Chelsea FC
We are going to go for a quick goal, Emery said that is what he wants so the team will go all in from the beginning and try to get a quick goal. Ultimately I see two outcomes either 1-1 draw or 3-1 win for Valencia.