Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Valencia CF vs Bayern Munich Match Preview

Valencia CF vs Bayern Munich Match Preview
Stadium: Mestalla
Date: 20.11.2012; 20:45 CET
5th matchday, Champions League
Coaches: Mauricio Pellegrino and Jupp Heynckes

Valencia CF
Valencia CF is coming to this match after a very lucky 2-1 win in the domestic league against Espanyol. And while I wouldn't call it even so much luck, more like compensation I believe from the referee from the terrible refereeing the week before that which made Valencia CF loose points, this this was a compensation and 3 points from that point of view, but more importantly the play was rather poor, in fact it was so poor that a struggling and relegation threatened team like Espanyol looked like a Champions League team. So even though I had some positive views on this match and was even looking at a hard fought victory, now I'm not so sure. The problem is compounded with the fact that Fernando Gago one of our more consistent performers this season is injured and was omitted from the squad to face Bayern Munich.

Valencia CF is also still suffering from lack of competition on the right wing as even though Piatti returned from his shoulder injury, he instantly got some other injury and is still to contribute. Jeremy Mathieu is also suffering from a long term injury and even though he seems likely to return in two weeks he has barely featured this season. Ever Banega after his long injury woes seems rather unfit and a bit overweight, so even though he did make a good return, last match was a step in the wrong direction. Some positive news is that Ricardo Costa is back in the team, though he was only out in the league, its a good addition to have him, considering Valencia CF only has 3 central defenders this season.

Judging from the last match against Bayern Munich and Bate who managed to beat Bayern Munich and Valencia CF beat them convincingly twice I was pretty sure Valencia can make a result at the Mestalla, especially since this season we haven't lost at home and were showing signs of improvement, but after last match I'm not so sure. I think Pellegrino knows that the biggest advantage Bayern had and has is the possession so I'm thinking he is probably going to set up a 3 man midfield, likely in a 4-3-3 formation in order to control the midfield and use the home advantage to pressure and beat Bayern Munich. 

Valencia CF squad:
Goalkeepers: Diego Alves, Guaita.
Defenders: Barragán, Ricardo Costa, Víctor Ruiz, Rami, Cissokho.
Midfielders: Albelda, Tino Costa, Éver, Dani Parejo, Guardado, Viera, Bernat, Feghouli.
Forwards: Jonas, Valdez i Soldado.

Technical Details Valencia CF (probable setups):
Formation: 4-3-3
Line-up: Guaita; Pereira, Rami, Ruiz, Cissokho; Tino, Albelda, Banega; Guardado, Soldado, Feghuoli.
Tactics: Medium defensive line, own third pressure, counter attacks, mostly short wide passing, mixed attacks.

Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich on the other hand have been doing great in the German Bundesliga and are still leading the table with 31 points from 12 matches played, only loosing once and drawing once. In fact the draw came in this last weekend where Bayern drew 1-1 with Nurnberg away. Their last match in the Champions League Bayern Munich trashed Lille 6-1, and even though I don't consider that too big of a deal as Lille have been rather terrible this season, it shows how much confidence the team has, though this can be their Achilles heel as well.

Thing is Bayern Munich are doing too great in the Bundesliga with 33 goals scored and only 5 goals conceded and don't have any competition at the moment. That can change later on of course, though right now they haven't been really challenged there and whether its luck, weak opposition or Bayern playing great all the time, it means that they are going to underestimate Valencia CF and if the match is a repeat of the last one, I believe Valencia CF can win as Bayern Munich failed to create any clear cut chances against Valencia CF and by the end were even lucky to come away with the win and that was at their home terrain. That said the good Valencia is going to have to show up, the one that can play collectively and fluid as a unit and not one that we've seen all too often this season which shows up in the away matches.

Bayern's coach Jupp is way too experienced and he is going to be warning his players not to underestimate Valencia CF and work hard, he is also probably going to be worried about headers since Bayern seem to have a weakness from it as seen from our match, but other as well. Their defense is also not as great as the statistics in Germany show, in fact I'd say that is their weak point and a chaotic Valencia attack can really devastate that well oiled German defense. Ultimately Bayern Munich are going to be playing their game and will try to dominate possession and use their wings as the preferred way to attack.

Bayern Munich are reinforced as Ribéry and Gomez are set to return, Mario Gomez is back in the squad after a lengthy injury.

Bayern Munich squad:
Neuer, Dante, Van Buyten, Ribéry, Martínez, Mandzukic, Shaqiri, Rafinha, Pizarro, Lahm, Starke, Müller, Contento, Alaba, Badstuber, Schweinsteiger, Gomez, Kroos, Tymoshchuk

Technical Details FC Bayern Munich (probable setups): 
Formation: 4-2-3-1
Line-up: Neuer; Lahm, Boateng, Badstuber, Dante; Schweinsteiger, Martinez; Shaqiri, Muller, Ribery; Pizarro.
Tactics: Medium defensive line, own 3rd pressure, keep possession, mostly short circular passing, spreading the ball to the wings, cut inside the penalty area from the wings.

Result Prediction:
Valencia CF 1-1 Bayern Munich
I predict this is going to be a tough match with few goals, though it could also erupt if early goals are scored, though I suspect both teams will be positioned as to not loose first and foremost and I suspect a tight match, but as I've said with the teams being so close on points and 3 teams fighting to go through one or both teams can become desperate if they are down one goal and go full out offensive. So it can go either way, but most likely its going to be a tight match, probably Bayern scoring first and then going into a more defensive pasture which would allow Valencia CF to control the match and attack more, scoring through a header from a cross.