Saturday, January 5, 2013

Granada CF vs Valencia CF Match Preview

Granada CF vs Valencia CF Match Preview
Stadium: Los Cármenes
Date: 05.01.2013; 18:00 CET
18th matchday, La Liga
Coaches: Juan Antonio Anquela and Ernesto Valverde

Granada CF
Granada CF are coming to this match after a series of mixed results. In fact their last 5 matches are two wins, two draws and one loss. The last match was a small away victory against Osasuna of 1-2 with which Granada CF managed to avoid the relegation spots. So far this season Granada CF have been in and out of the relegation spots and its likely that this battle will continue for the rest of the season and their challenge is increased today as they will face off against Valencia CF. 

Granada CF are sitting at 15th position with 16 points from 17 matches and I swear the numbers just came out like that and was not planned. Anyways they have 4 wins, 4 draws and 9 losses with 25 goals conceded and only 13 goals scored. Their main goalscorer is Youssef El Arabi with 4 goals scored, who also has one assist to his name. Youssef El Arabi has featured 17 times, so pretty much in all matches and his goal scoring ration isn't very good. Last season he played for Al Hilhal and scored 12 goals for them and before that he's been a good goalscorer in France, so its obvious that he isn't getting many chances at Granada CF.

In fact from the matches I've watched with them I'd say the biggest problem for Granada CF is their attack, or lack thereof. They virtually do not have any attack and while they do create small number of chances, the biggest area of play for them is their own third. In fact so much so that Granada CF has failed to score in 8 matches total.

Granada CF squad: to be announced...

Valencia CF
Valencia CF on the other hand are coming to this match after a good series of good results, in fact so much so that Valencia CF has won 4 times in the last 5 matches. Now this does not mean Valencia CF are out of the woods and in some great form, only two wins are in La Liga, where the team also has a loss and two wins came in other competitions. So Valencia CF really has a long way to go before things start falling into place and a good start in the new year would be a good, secure win over Granada CF. As I've already written above Granada CF is one of the worst offensive teams in the league and I certainly wouldn't want Valencia CF to concede a goal to them and while Granada CF are decent at the back, that is to say not terrible, they are still leaky and Valencia CF should be able to win securely.

Valencia CF new coach Ernesto Valverde has also been coaching the team for almost a month now and has probably been able to asses the players and their condition, form and playing style and I believe that he as experienced coach would know how to set up the team to get the best out of the players and win in most of the matches, something I believe Pellegrino as inexperienced coach lacked. So I fully expect to see the team start playing better and what a wonderful test in Granada CF to really flesh out the new tactics and style before the team tackles on better teams.

I want to wish the players and the team a happy new year and huge success in the new 2013 and hope they can finish 3rd place in the league and go on to win the Champions League, because I want the team to succeed after 10 years of nothing. The time is now and regardless of the financial situation, the team should be able to do it in the sporting aspects.

Sofiane Feghouli as I've reported days ago signed a new contract extension that will keep him at Valencia CF till 2016 and has been now officially confirmed by Valencia's official website. I'm mentioning this little news here because he is actually injured right now and though he has rejoined normal training may not be in contention for starting place, especially since he will likely go to Algeria for the African cup of nations after this match. Other than him Gago has been back and training normally and may even feature in the team, Jeremy Mathieu is still recovering, but is only about 2 weeks from returning and Sergio Canales has been training with the ball and light exercises, though he is likely still a week or two from playing.

Valencia CF squad: to be announced...

Technical Details Valencia CF (probable setups):
Formation: 4-3-3
Line-up: Diego; Pereira, Rami, R. Costa, Guardado; Albelda, Tino, Banega, Jonas; Soldado, Piatti.
Tactics: High defensive line, all round pressure, mixed passing, center attacks mostly.

Result Prediction:
Granada CF 0-2 Valencia CF
AS I've already written Granada CF is really weak offensively and not very sound defensively either. Even with all of Valencia's problems this should be a secure win for the team, but the fact that the team has practiced intensively and Valverde has had plenty of time to improve stuff now I fully expect a secure victory of 2-0 for Valencia CF over Granada CF.