Sunday, January 29, 2012

Racing Santander vs Valencia CF match preview

Racing Santander vs Valencia CF
Stadium: El Sardinero
29th January, 2012; 18:00CET
19th matchday, La Liga
Expected Attendance: 19.500
Coaches: Juanjo González and Unai Emery
This weekend Valencia CF travels to Santander to face off against Racing for this 19th matchday in what is going to be a crucial match after a few missteps in the Spanish league.

Valencia CF will be looking to get on the winning ways and try to close the gap between Real Madrid and especially Barcelona now that they drew with Villarreal, but also get away from Levante and the renewed Atletico Madrid who are climbing fast.

Unai Emery doesn't have steep competition right now and his job is safe, but if he fails to win this match he is going to come under pressure from the fans and the management there is no doubt about it. He is likely to have straighten things out with Tino Costa and Parejo for now and in that case is going to be relaxed ahead of this match. Right now both Banega and Tino are playing good, although Banega does seem on the downfall right now and will need a strong game tonight if he is to turn things around and fight off competition from Tino.

Racing Santander are currently 16th on the table with 20 points and under threat of relegation, although the points difference between the 10th place and 19th place is small and only Villarreal surprisingly is in real immediate danger of relegation and its a real possibility let me tell you. If they don't turn it around in the next several games their mentality will change from a competitive top 6 team to a small second division team and its going to get a lot harder to avoid relegation, especially after players start to get demoralized.

But Racing is right now in a bad, but not that bad of a position and will be looking for draw against Valencia and continue their slow climb on the table. 

Racing are overall a balanced team with a small weaknesses in attack with only 15 goals scored, though they are not far off other team surrounding them. Their best goal scorer is Christian Stuani with 5 goals scored so far.

Valencia CF managed to beat Levante twice in the Copa Del Rey and are now in the semi final and will face Barcelona, but even so this is a good success and will be coming to this match relaxed, but hopefully not too relaxed because they've been slipping up in their last games.

Emery won't bring Miguel, Rami and Parejo, while Pablo is still injured and Albelda is serving out his red card in the last match. Good news is that Mathieu has returned and will travel with the team, although he probably won't be starting the match.

Valencia CF squad:
Goalkeepers: Alves, Guaita
Defenders: Bruno, Barragán, Dealbert, Víctor Ruiz, Ricardo Costa, Jordi Alba, Mathieu.
Midfielders: Tino Costa, Topal, Éver, Bernat, Feghouli, Piatti.
Forwards: Jonas, Aduriz, Soldad.