Sunday, March 4, 2012

Granada CF vs Valencia CF - Match Preview

Granada vs Valencia CF
Stadium: Camp Nou
4th, March, 2012; 18:00CET
26th matchday, La Liga
Expected Attendance: 22.000
  Coaches: Abel Resino and Unai Emery

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.

Grenada CF has recently been on a good streak with 3 wins out of the last 5 matches and these 3 wins have helped push Granada CF out of the relegation danger zone and right now Granada CF is 16th position on the table with 28 points, 4 more from the nearest relegation club.
Their top scorer is Inigo Lopez with only 4 goals and Franco Jara leading in the assists department with 4 of them.

Granada CF squad: to be announced...

Valencia CF on the other hand is coming off a rather miserable week with a lot of speculation about the possibility of Unai Emery leaving and with good reason as the loss to Sevilla at home was the cherry on the top of a whole new 2012 year with only 1 win in the last 8 matches, 4 draws and 3 losses. In other terms Valencia CF has lost a total of 17 points in the new year and there has been doubts about whether Unai Emery can lead the team to third position once again this season.

Valencia CF still has a decent cushion of points from the other teams and Levante I don't consider particularly threatening, but beating Granada CF today is crucial or else someone would need to push the red panic button and things would go into a bad place.

Some good news is that the team is full and no other injuries apart from the known long terms ones of Canales, Banega and Miguel, but even Hedwiges Maduro has been training for some time now and while I don't expect him to feature against Granada CF he can return soon.

Other good news is that Roberto Soldado had an amazing international performance for Spain, scoring his first hat-trick for Spain in his return to the Spanish team after a break of 5 years. Jordi Alba played great for Spain as well and other players like Mehmet Topal and Adil Rami had good performances for their national teams.

Valencia CF squad: 
  • Goalkeepers: Alves, Guaita
  • Defenders: Bruno, Barragán, V.Ruiz, Dealbert, Rami, Mathieu, J.Alba.
  • Midfielders: Albelda, Topal, Tino Costa, Feghouli, Pablo, D. Parejo, Piatti.
  • Forwards: Jonas, Aduriz, Soldad.

Technical Details Valencia CF (probable setups):
Formation: 4-2-3-1
Line-up: Guaita; Barragan, Dealbert, Ruiz, Mathieu; Albelda, Parejo; Pablo, Jonas, Piatti; 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:
Granada CF 0-2 Valencia CF
Unai Emery is likely to give the likes of Alba, Rami, Feghuoli and Topal a break from the international duty and place them on the bench, although with Soldado's form at Spain he is likely to start and players like Pablo, Dealbert and Albelda starting. I think that Valencia CF will take the match 2-0, but only if everyone is playing 100% and Tino Costa or Parejo have a good match, especially Tino if he starts.

Betting odds:
Valencia 1.40
draw 5.30
Granada 12.00