Saturday, May 10, 2014

Levante UD vs Valencia CF Match Preview

Levante UD vs Valencia CF Match Preview
Stadium: Estadi Ciutat de València
Date: 10.05.2014; 22:00 CET
37th matchday, La Liga
Coaches: Joaquín Caparrós and Juan Antonio Pizzi

Levante UD and Valencia CF are big rivals since they are both based in Valencia, with Valencia CF being sort of the more successful and better known clubs of the two. Matches against Levante UD have always been interesting and competitive for the most part, tonight both clubs fight for pride and for Valencia CF to safe face a little after what has been a terrible season.

Valencia CF sit at 8th place on the table with Levante sitting 10th place, but only one point separates the two teams. There is no way for Valencia CF to finish better than 8th place, but there is the chance to finish lower, up to 13th place on the table.

Last match Valencia CF managed to draw against Real Madrid in what was a good showing and could have easily been a win for Valencia CF, but while the team has played good versus the big teams this season it has lost way too many points against weaker teams, often by losing the games.

I think one of the main issues this season has been in defense, people can say whatever they want, but from my deep research, analysis and understanding our defense has been the weakest link. We aren't firing on all cylinders in attack or anything, but its been better than our defense. On the other hand we could also be scoring more goals, but I think we've been getting really cheap, really silly goals against us and this has demoralized the squad too many times.

Valencia CF will play well and attack and dominate the game and we'll receive some cheap counter attack goal and players lose morale and Valencia ends up losing. From my experience that has been the situation. Or for example the match against Sevilla in the Europe League when he recieved a last second goal or last match against Real Madrid when we received a last second goal. Both those recent games could have been major wins if we had a better defense.

I think Mathieu is the primary reason for our weak defense this season, I just don't think he is capable enough, not that R. Costa is world class or anything, but he has more experience in central defense, though optimally we would have 2 new central defenders next season.

Valencia CF squad:
Goalkeepers: Alves, Antonio Sivera.
Defense: Joao, Barragán, Senderos, Vezo, Ricardo Costa, Víctor Ruiz, Bernat.
Midfield: Javi Fuego, Dani Parejo, Keita, Feghouli, Piatti, Fede, Michel.
Attack: Jonas, Vinicius, Eduardo Vargas, Paco Alcácer

Technical Details Valencia CF (probable setups):
Formation: 4-4-2
Line-up: Alves; Barragan, R. Costa, Senderos, Bernat; Keita, Parejo, Feghouli; Fede; Paco,Vargas.
Tactics: Medium defensive line, own half pressure, high frequency wing attacks, mixed passing, offside trap

Result prediction:
Levante UD 1-1 Valencia CF
I think a draw would seem like the most likely outcome in this match, I don't see big reason why the players would play at 100% and we'll probably see two goals in the later parts of the game, when after the one clu scores the other starts playing better and manages to draw.