Saturday, September 29, 2012

Valencia CF vs Real Zaragoza Match Preview

Valencia CF vs Real Zaragoza Match Preview
Stadium: Mestalla
Date: 29.09.2012; 16:00 CET
6th matchday, La Liga
Coaches: Mauricio Pellegrino and Manolo Jiménez

Valencia CF
Valencia CF finds itself it the bottom of the table after an unexpected and devastating loss last week at the hands of RCD Mallorca. Even though Mallorca is always a tough club to crack away, Valencia CF needed that win and needed to show off its League ambitions this season. Mallorca did its job though and they mostly sat back and defended in numbers, catching Valencia out on counter attacks and being really devastating with the few attacks they had, while Valencia players had no clue how to unlock a tightly packed and organized defense.

So out of 5 matches Valencia CF has only one win and that was against the newly promoted Celta Vigo and it wasn't very convincing either. We also drew at home against the newly promoted Deportivo La Coruna and even though it was expected to loose away to Barcelona, there was a hope we can get away with at least a point.

Valencia is also having an injury crisis and has had it since the start of the season basically and with news that Ricardo Costa is also injured now and will be out for a month, we are left with only two defenders and need to rely on B team member Delgado. Even Victor Ruiz was sick as he had some virus of sorts, though he is likely to start and play through it. Good news is that Fernando Gago has returned and that will give us some stability in midfield, although how fit is he likely to be is another questions. 

Valencia CF squad:
Goalkeepers: Diego Alves, Guaita.
Defenders: Joao Pereira, Barragán, Rami, Víctor Ruiz, Carlos Delgado, Cissokho.
Midfielders: Tino Costa, Gago, Parejo, Guardado, Bernat, Feghouli.
Forwards: Viera, Jonas, Valdez, Soldado.

Technical Details Valencia CF (probable setups):
Formation: 4-4-2
Line-up: Guaita; Barragan, Rami, Ruiz, Cissokho; Feghuoli, Tino, Gago, Viera; Jonas, Soldado.
Tactics: High defensive line, all round pressure, mixed passing, wing attacks mostly.

Real Zaragoza
Real Zaragoza is coming to this match after a big win against Osasuna at home and they really needed that win as they were 3 looses and 1 win before that, so that last win against Osasuna put them several positions up to 12th place on the table. They've had a mixed start to the season loosing their first match at home to Real Valladolid, win against Espanyol and then two looses.

Last season Real Zaragoza finished in 16th position, barely within a point avoiding relegation and were saved in the last 4 matches as they went on a four matches winning streak beating Bilbao, Levante, Racing and Getafe to avoid relegation. This season is likely to be the same, and even harder as Deportivo and Celta have shown they are quite strong coming from second division. With that said Zaragoza are likely to sit back this match and defend against Valencia and hope they can catch us on the counter attack just as Mallorca did.

They are likely to start with the same squad that beat Osasuna 3-1, maybe in a more defensive formation. Some of their more known players are Hélder Postiga who so far has scored 2 goals for them and Romaric.
Zaragoza have so far in the competition scored 6 goals and conceded 9 so not really bad and not very significant at this early in the season to be able to draw conclusions about their defensive and offensive capabilities.

Real Zaragoza squad: Roberto, Leo Franco, Movilla, Paredes, Alvaro, N. Aranda, Edu Oriol, H. Postiga, Apoño, Montanes, N. Romaric, Jose Mari, Loovens, Stefan, Sapunaru, Zuculini, Abraham, Javi Alamo and Victor Rodriguez.

Technical Details Real Zaragoza (probable setups):
Formation: 4-2-3-1
Line-up: Jimenez; Sapunaru, Abraham, Alvaro, Paredes; Apono, Romaric; Paco, Zuculini, Victor; Postiga.
Tactics: Low defensive line, own third pressure, counter attacks, mostly long passing.

Result Prediction:
Valencia CF 3-2 Real Zaragoza
Both sides have so far played fairly open football and while I expect Real Zaragoza to try and play defensively I can see Valencia CF scoring early with all the notion that this is a must win, so they team is going to start strong score early and the match will open up leading to more goals with both defenses leaky.