Saturday, January 19, 2013

Valencia CF vs Real Madrid Match Preview

Valencia CF vs Real Madrid Match Preview
Stadium: Mestalla
Date: 20.01.2013; 21:00 CET
Semi Final, 2nd leg, Copa Del Rey(crazy me) La Liga 20th matchday
Coaches: Ernesto Valverde and Jose Mourinho

Valencia CF
Valencia CF is coming to this match after a 2-0 loss from Real Madrid at the Bernabeu in the Copa Del Rey. Even though Valencia CF outplayed Real Madrid for the most part in that match, some silly individual mistakes, coupled with paid referees made sure Valencia CF would loose 2-0. You can read my match report and find out more. To sum it up Valencia CF had the possession, chances, attacking and in a very unfortunate way it still managed to loose. 

The first goal for Real Madrid came after a mistake by either Tino or Parejo, couldn't tell at the time, where he gave away the ball and there was no one in the middle to prevent or slow down the counter attack, which resulted in Real Madrid taking the lead. Valencia CF had chances on their own as Jonas had 2 great chances, one he shot straight at the keeper, the other he missed a whole empty goal from less than 10 meters. Real Madrid second goal would come from Higuain, as he received a pass from Conetrao, though that goal was controversial as well as it seems Higuain handled the ball with his hand. 

Anyways Roberto Soldado criticized the referees after the match and said they helped Real Madrid win, Manuel Llorente was furious with the referees as well, saying every time Valencia CF plays against the big two weird decisions go against us. Of course you won't hear anything from Jose Mourinho when his team wins with refereeing help, but yells and screams if his team don't get special treatment by them. 

To make matters worse coach Ernesto Valverde has been handed a 2 match ban for simply trying to substitute a player and not being allowed to for 5 minutes. Of course Jose Mourinho can poke Tito Villanova eye and not receive any penalty, but you try to make a substitution against Real Madrid and you are out. So conveniently he has been banned for the two matches Valencia CF play against Real Madrid. I mean you can't make this stuff up. 

If I wanted to make up stuff to discredit the referees and their whole guild there is Spain, I wouldn't have been able to come up with this. I just don't have such weird and crazy imagination. Its like they try everything possible to make Valencia CF loose against Real Madrid and they don't even hide it anymore, its all out in the open. 

But enough of that, Fernando Gago obviously returned from injury and played some minutes in the last match, though he is going to start this time, as Parejo has broken a finger in the match against Real Madrid, so he will be missing for at least 2 weeks, possibly more. He is going to play as a defensive midfielder and he is best suited of course out of the others we have. Tino and Banega are probably going to start as well, though this time Tino can play more freely and venture forward more, which should be positive for Valencia CF. Of course Joao Pereira is unavailable due to accumulation of yellow cards and Albelda is still injured, though could probably return for the 2nd match in the cup.

Valencia CF squad:
Goalkeepers: Diego Alves, Vicente Guaita.
Defenders: Cissokho, Rami, Victor Ruiz, Ricardo Costa, Barragan.
Midfielders: Guardado, Gago, Ever, Tino Costa, Viera, Piatti, Canales, Bernat.
Forwards: Jonas, Valdez, Soldado.

Technical Details Valencia CF (probable setups):
Formation: 4-2-3-1
Line-up: Diego; Barragan, Rami, R. Costa, Cissokho; Gago, Tino, Banega; Piatti, Jonas, Soldado.
Tactics: Medium defensive line, own half pressure, mixed passing, mixed attacks.

Real Madrid
Real Madrid are coming to this match after a lucky victory against Valencia CF. They were second best all match long, had the referees on their side and had Jonas on their side basically, missing some crucial goals. Even before the match against Valencia CF, Real Madrid have been poor, they were second best against Osasuna as well, though again managed to get away with a draw.

Their whole season has been mixed bag with some good and bad matches and they are clearly lacking form. Right now they are still 3rd in the league with 37 points, though hopefully after tomorrow's match they'd still be sitting on the same 37 points. They have scored 45 and conceded 20 goals and of course the main goalscorer has been Cristiano Ronaldo with 16 goals and Karim Benzema leading the assists chart with 6.

Real Madrid have had trouble with their defense for some time time and have been missing their key defenders, they also had Albiol injured for a long time, before coming from injury and being put instantly in the heart of the defense. Jose Mourinho also seems to have problems with Casillas as he has been putting Adan in goal over Cassilas, though working out terribly two times. In fact come the summer, its possible Real Madrid will be looking for a new goalkeeper and Guaita could be their prime target. FC Barcelona are also on the lookout for a new goalkeeper, after they failed to reach a deal with Valdez so they are going to be looking at Guaita as well, especially since he hasn't been getting the proper minutes here at Valencia CF.

Real Madrid is also in negotiations with Milan to offload Kaka, who's been bellow par and warming the bench ever since he came in at Real Madrid, I'd say probably some of his best years wasted. He is on the way out and Real Madrid realistically lack depth this season. They only have Ozil really, got Modric in the summer, but he's been forced to play central midfield most of the time and they lack proper cover there as well with no real replacement for Alonso. They also lack cover on the left for Ronaldo and cover for right wing for the aging Arbeloa. So loosing Kaka, as insignificant as he has been will be further blow to them.

Real Madrid squad:
Goalkeepers: Casillas, Adan and Tomas Mejias.
Defenders: Varane, Coentrao, Carvalho, Arbeloa, Albiol and Nacho.
Midfielders: Khedira, Ozil, Alonso, Essien, Modric, Callejon and Di Maria.
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema and Higuain.

Technical Details Real Madrid (probable setups):
Formation: 4-2-3-1
Line-up: Casillas; Arbeloa, Varane, Albiol, Coentrao; Xabi, Khedira; Callejon, Ozil, Ronaldo; Benzema.
Tactics: Medium defensive line, own half pressure, mostly wide wing attacks, long balls from the middle.

Result Prediction:
Valencia CF 2-1 Real Madrid
Valencia CF outplayed Real Madrid last match at the Bernabeu and after coming in as underdogs, but now playing at the Mestalla with a strong belief that they can win is going to propel Valencia CF to victory. Real Madrid are always dangerous from counter attacks with their defensive style of play, so I expect them to get one in, probably from an offside with the help of the referees. I see Valencia CF scoring two though probably one by Soldado and one by Tino Costa.