Saturday, January 24, 2015

Valencia CF vs Sevilla FC Match Preview

Valencia CF vs Sevilla FC Match Preview
Stadium: Mestalla
Date: 25.01.2014, 21:00 CET
20th matchday, La Liga
Coaches: Nuno Espirito Santo and Unai Emery

The first half of the season is officially over and with the match against Sevilla FC tomorrow the second half of the season will officially begin. Sevilla FC is managed by former Valencia CF coach Unai Emery and he's been leading them impressively, managing to compete with Valencia CF step by step. Since the two teams are pretty much same on points and are similarly matched, tomorrow's match will be decisive. I mean of course Nuno Santo will say its not decisive, its just one match, he has to. The reality is that the match against Sevilla is decisive and it will dictate the rest of the season, assuming both teams have similar performances as they've had so far. I mean if one team all of a sudden decided to be really bad then it wouldn't matter, but assuming similar performances in the second half of the season as the first half, this match will be crucial.

Winning against Sevilla FC will not only give Valencia CF 3 points, get them ahead on the table, but it will also send a message to Sevilla and other teams that we mean business, we are here to compete and to win and we don't care who you are, we are going for the win. It will also mentally affect Sevilla in a negative way, because if they lose to Valencia CF they will feel weaker, they'll feel that Valencia CF is superior to them, they will feel like they can't compete with the big guys, since they've already lost to all the favorites, they lost to Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, so losing to Valencia CF as well would be devastating and affect their mental state how they are the weaker team.

I think winning is the key not only because it negatively affects them, it positively affects Valencia CF, it reaffirms the belief that we can beat anyone and that this is a top team, fighting with the top guys, competing on equal footing. We have a very young squad and such affirmations are crucial for the development, crucial for Valencia CF becoming a top tier team and competing for the title the next season.

Valencia CF is still weakened from the loss of Sofiane Feghouli due to the the African cup on nations and Pablo Piatti's injury, as well as the recent injury of Antonio Barragan, but good news is that Nicolas Otamendi is back in the squad after a smaller injury and is likely to start in this match. Alvaro Negredo will of course be coming back to his previous club, his previous home and it will be interesting to see if Nuno decides to have him in the starting eleven or possibly keep him as a reserve in case he is needed later on.

Valencia CF Squad:
Goalkeepers: Alves, Yoel
Defenders: Cancelo, Vezo, Mustafi, Otamendi, Gaya, Orban
Midfielders: Fuego, Parejo, Enzo, Gomes, Felipe, Zuculini, De Paul
Forwards: Negredo, Paco, Moreno

Technical Details Valencia CF (probable setups):
Formation: 4-3-3
Line-up: Diego; Cancelo, Mustafi, Otamendi, Gaya; Enzo, Parejo, Gomes; Moreno, Paco, De Paul.
Tactics: Medium defensive line, own half pressure, mixed passing, midfield triangle, counter attacks.

Match Result:
Valencia CF 1-1 Sevilla FC
I think its going to be a very close match, both clubs are similarly matched, Unai Emery obviously knows Valencia CF really well and he can set-up a strategy to counter us. I think the most likely outcome is a draw, with both teams scoring one goal. Basically a repeat of the first match this season.