Sunday, December 16, 2012

Valencia CF vs Rayo Vallecano Match Preview

Valencia CF vs Rayo Vallecano Match Preview
Stadium: Mestalla
Date: 16.12.2012; 17:00 CET
16th matchday, La Liga
Coaches: Ernesto Valverde and Paco Jémez

Valencia CF
Valencia CF is coming to this match after three consecutive wins, all three is three different competitions and all three at away matches. So 3 wins, at 3 competitions, 3 away matches. New Valencia CF coach Ernesto Valverde couldn't have hoped for a better start to his coaching career at Valencia, though he now faces the always tricky Rayo Vallecano and the team is playing on home terrain. 

Ernesto Valverde said that he expects Rayo Vallecano to play openly and go for the 3 points, he said that they are a tough opponents and are especially dangerous on counter attacks. He said this would be important match for him as he debuts for the first time to the home crowd and that he wants and expects a win for Valencia CF.

In the last 2 matches Valverde played with a 4-3-3 formation, that started as 4-2-3-1, but transformed to 4-3-3 and that is how the team played for most of the time. He has also given David Albelda the starting position and this has worked wonders as he is able to shield the defense very well, thus allowing for more attack minded players like Banega, Tino and even Parejo to play more securely and openly higher up the pitch. This has also enabled for an increased presence of Valencia in the opponents third and the ability to have good build-up play, creating more chances. Valverde has also rotated the squad to a fair extent, giving playing time to Tino, Banega, Parejo, Gago, Albelda, Piatti, Feghuoli, Viera, Bernat, Jonas and Soldado. So a fairly large number of players have played in the last two matches.

I'm expecting the same formation against Rayo Vallecano, though I'm really curious which players he is going to start. He has had now time to asses the players from the 3 matches under him and then in the training sessions and figure out who is better and who is in better form and see their attitudes and game styles. He is also a very experienced coach and unlike Pellegrino, he is more likely to make a better call just from experience. I got to say I'm really looking forward to this match and I'm genuinely excited to see Valencia play, something that I couldn't say for the last 2/3 months.

Ernesto Valverde has selected pretty much all fit players to the squad, leaving the injured or recovering players like Jeremy Mathieu, Gago, Canales, Valdez and Ruiz.

Valencia CF squad:
Goalkeepers: Alves, Guaita.
Defenders: Barragan, Joao Pereira, Ricardo Costa, Rami, Cissokho.
Midfielders: Albelda, Parejo, Éver, T.Costa, Viera, Guardado, Bernat, Feghouli, Piatti.
Attack: Jonas, Soldado.

Technical Details Valencia CF (probable setups):
Formation: 4-3-3
Line-up: Diego; Barragan, Rami, R. Costa, Cissokho; Albelda, Tino Costa, Banega; Feghuoli, Soldado, Guardado.
Tactics: High defensive line, own half pressure, mixed passing, mostly center play.