Sunday, January 22, 2012

CA Osasuna vs Valencia CF - Match Preview

CA Osasuna vs Valencia CF
Stadium: Reyno de Navarra
22nd January, 2012; 12:00CET
18th matchday, La Liga
Expected Attendance: 17.500
Coaches: José Luis Mendilibar and Unai Emery
CA Osasuna has been in good form this season and for most of the season has been in the top 7. Right now they are in the middle of the pack, but they have shown that they can compete with anybody and are going to be very tough opponents for Valencia. 
Osasuna's best goalscorer is Ibrahima Balde with 5 goals scored so far and Raul Garcia is leading the assists chart with 5 of them. Both of them are likely to be the main threat for Valencia and so having the defensive midfielder closely follow those two would be best.
While Osasuna can be quite dangerous in attack their defense is one of the worst in La Liga with 30 goals conceded with only last placed Zaragoza and 18th placed Sporting Gijon having worse defensive records.

With this knowledge one can expect Osasuna to come out fighting and attacking for the start in order to cover for their defensive weaknesses so a more patient approach on the counter would be smart tactical choice for Valencia.

Valencia CF lost last match in La Liga against Real Sociedad and failed to come closer to Barcelona and Real Madrid. Luckilly the match later in the Copa Del Rey against Levante was won handily and made the loss from Sociedad a non issue, but Valencia CF need to get back on the winning tracks in La Liga, especially now since Atletico Madrid have started playing again and are demolishing everyone with the appointment of their new coach Simeone.

Unai Emery is having some selection problems with unfit or injured players and so only 18 players have been selected to travel and with them is B team players Portu and Juan Bernat. We are most likely going to see a 4-3-3 formation because we just lack wingers right now and Bernat would be risky to play since Valencia really need a victory in this match.

Valencia CF squad:
Goalkeepers: Diego Alves, Guaita.
Defenders: Bruno, Barragán, Dealbert, Rami, Jordi Alba.
Midfielders: Albelda, Topal, Éver, Tino Costa, Portu, Feghouli, Juan Bernat, Parejo.
Forwards: Jonas, Aduriz, Soldado.