Saturday, November 1, 2014

Villarreal vs Valencia CF Match Preview

Villarreal vs Valencia CF Match Preview
Stadium: El Madrigal
Date: 02.11.2014; 17:00 CET
10th matchday, La Liga
Coaches: Marcelino García Toral and Nuno Santos

Valencia CF hit a bump in the road two weeks ago when the team lost 3-0 to a well organized Deportivo side, but the team bounced back against Elche last week winning the match 3-1. Since then Peter Lim has officially taken over as Valencia CF owner and the atmosphere in the team is superb.

All is not great though as Valencia's goals all came from set pieces last match, meaning the team hasn't scored a single goal from open play for 180 minutes. Paco Alcacer has also not scored in the last 3 matches and Daniel Parejo got injured earlier in the week and will out for 2 to 3 weeks. 

Villarreal are one of the rivals this season for champions league position and they've had a good start to the season, accumulating 14 points from 9 matches and are going to be much stronger opponent than Elche. Playing at Villarreal is Valencia's Victor Ruiz, though he is a doubt for the match with minor injury.

Valencia CF has drawn against Sevilla and won against Atletico Madrid, with the team yet to play against Barcelona or Real Madrid. So this is going to be the third real test of the season as to how strong this squad is and for the first time the team is playing without Parejo, who's featured in all matches so far. So it will be interesting to see how the team performs without him.

Good news is that Negredo is slowly but surely coming to full fitness and while I don't expect him to start against Villarreal, I expect him to get some minutes regardless if the team is winning or losing.

Nuno practiced with Felipe Augusto taking Parejo's place in training and I expect to see him start tomorrow against Villarreal. Apart from that I suspect its going to be the same lineup as always.

Valencia CF squad:  
Goalkeepers: Alves, Yoel. 
Defenders: Barragán, João Cancelo, Vezo, Otamendi, Mustafi, Gayà. 
Midfielders: Javi Fuego, Felipe Augusto, Feghouli, Robert, De Paul, Pablo Piatti, Carles Gil. 
Forwards: Paco Alcácer, Rodrigo Moreno, Alvaro Negredo.

Technical Details Valencia CF (probable setups):  
Formation: 4-3-3  
Line-up: Diego; Barragan, Mustafi, Otamendi, Gaya; Fuego, Felipe, Gomes; Piatti, Paco, Moreno. 
Tactics: Low defensive line, own half pressure, midfield triangle, short passing, offside trap, deep laying defensive midfielder. 

Match Predictions:
Villarreal 1-1 Valencia CF
I expect a close match tomorrow afternoon. Both sides have been playing some good football with Villarreal being really sturdy and tough in the midfield. I think we are going to see mostly back and forth match with both teams battling for control in the midfield. It will be interesting to see how Mustafi copes with better opposition though and if he is good enough to start or not. 

Even though the match is likely to be close and very competitive, I expect both sides to score and the final score to be 1-1.