Saturday, September 22, 2012

RCD Mallorca vs Valencia CF Match Preview

Mallorca vs Valencia CF Match Preview
Stadium: Iberostar Stadium
Date: 23.09.2012; 12:00 CET
5th matchday, La Liga
Coaches: Joaquín Caparrós and Mauricio Pellegrino

RCD Mallorca
RCD Mallorca is coming to this match after an away draw with Osasuna, for some the toughest place for any team to play at and certainly that is proving true this season as well, though Mallorca did manage a draw which is significant. In fact Mallorca is on a very good start to the new season and after 4 matchdays are sitting at the 3rd position on the table with 8 points, level with Sevilla.

Last season Mallorca finished at respectable 8th place, coming very close on points to actually qualifying for the Europe League though not doing enough in the end. Mallorca has not been very consistent in the last couple of seasons, as at one point they finished 5th in 2009/10 and were on the bring on qualifying for the Champions League, just 1 point difference at the end, the next 2010/11 season they finished a low 17th place and barely avoiding relegation and the last season they've bounced back up finishing 8th place.

Joaquin Caparros has been with the team for less than one year now, but he has stabilized the team since their 17th place 2 years ago and has instilled some confidence in the players, making them an effective unit that doesn't concede many goals. He is an experienced coach, has coached many sides, including top teams like Sevilla and Atletico Bilbao with witch he had good success.

Some of their most recognizable players are Dudu Aouate, former Valencia CF player Javier Arizmendi and recent talent for them Tomas Pina. In fact there were reports that Valencia CF might be interested in Tomas Pina, though I think any such talks are premature and likely just wild speculation. 

RCD Mallorca squad: Aouate, Calatayud, Joao, Anderson, Pina, Antonio López, Pereira, NSue, Tomer, Javi Márquez, Geromel,  Bigas, Pep Lluis Martí,  Alfaro, Arizmendi, Kevin, Víctor and Ximo.

Technical Details RCD Mallorca (probable setups):
Formation: 4-2-3-1
Line-up: Aouate; Ximo, Pedro, Anderson, Lopez; Javi Marquez, Pina; Nsue, Victor, Pereira; Hemed
Tactics: Low defensive line, own half pressure, counter attacks, mostly long passing, doubling down defense.

Valencia CF
Valencia CF on the other hand are coming to this match after a hard fought 2-1 win against Celta Vigo at home and then an away 2-1 loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League. Right now Valencia CF is 11th on the table with only 5 points out of 4 matches, though at least now Real Madrid and FC Barcelona are behind us and we can focus on the upcoming matches and start gaining some points and winning of course.

Valencia CF coach Mauricio Pellegrino still has troubles with injuries as I've reported on my blog Fernando Gago will be out of the field for another two weeks as the doctors decided to keep it safe with him, while David Albelda, Jeremy Mathieu, Pablo Piatti still have some time to recover as well, Mathieu being the first to return sometime next week. Ever Banega will return to normal training this next month, though we are not going to see him in a match for at least another full month. Sergio Canales is even further down the line, probably about 2 months away from a recovery.

Valencia CF has been having problems primarily in the midfield with complete and utter lack of any control of possession. In fact against Bayern Munich Valencia CF barely had any possession for most of the match and lost a lot of balls in the middle, which is unacceptable and Mauricio Pellegrino called out the players on it, saying he wasn't pleased with the performance, but wasn't desperate and said the players and the team can improve in the coming matches. Nelson Valdez and Roberto Soldado also called the play bad and said called for the team to improve and start playing good.

Valencia CF is going to face Mallorca with the players being quite tired from the midweek match in the Champions League and we will likely see some changed to freshen up the team, although the options right now are limited as there is only Sofiane Feghuoli for the right wing, only Parejo and Alberto Tino Costa for central midfield, Cissokho only at the left back. The most likely change that will occur is probably Guaita for Diego Alves. I really though Guaita is going to start for the Champions League, but the fact the he didn't means he is very likely to start against Mallorca.

Valencia CF squad:
Goalkeepers: Diego Alves, Vicente Guaita.
Defense: Joao Pereira, Barragán, Rami, Víctor Ruiz, Ricardo Costa, Cissokho.
Midfield: Dani Parejo, Portu, Tino Costa, Viera, Guardado, Bernat, Feghouli.
Forward: Jonas, Valdez, Soldado.

Technical Details Valencia CF (probable setups):
Formation: 4-4-2
Line-up: Guaita; Pereira, Rami, Costa, Cissokho; Feghuoli, Tino, Portu Viera; Jonas, Soldado.
Tactics: Medium defensive line, own third pressure, counter attacks, mixed passing, wing attacks mostly.

Result Prediction:
RCD Mallorca 0-1 Valencia CF
RCD Mallorca have been a low scorer this season, but last season as well and so not much has changed and its not likely to change now, while Valencia CF have also been low scorers this season so I don't expect a match with many goals, although you never really know. I think its probably going to be a tight match, especially since Valencia CF is coming after the Bayern match and aren't likely to play with high tempo.
The battle is probably going to be in the middle with few chances between the sides and Valencia CF just managing to score one goal and hold on the the lead and win.