Sunday, March 8, 2015

Atletico Madrid vs Valencia CF Match Preview

Atletico Madrid vs Valencia CF Match Preview
Stadium: Vicente Calderon
Date: 08.03.2015, 21:00 CET
26th matchday, La Liga
Coaches: Diego Simeone and Nuno Santo

Last time these two teams faced eachother Valencia CF were victorious in what was a convincing 3-1 beating of defending champions Atletico Madrid. This time though I suppose things won't be the same and I'm expecting a lot more opposition from Atletico Madrid. They are playing at their home turf, and unlike the start of the season when they were adjusting with the changes in their squad, now they are settled and have been in good form. 

With that said Valencia CF were adjusting to changes in their squad as well and still managed to beat Atletico Madrid handily, though of course I'm not that brazen as to expect another such convincing victory, especially at the Vicente Calderon, but Valencia CF has settled as well and have been in great form recently, so I do expect a good showing. I'd like to see Valencia CF win against Atletico Madrid though a draw won't be that bad either.

Good news for Valencia CF is that Nicolas Otamendi has returned to the team and is available for selection, Paco Alcacer is also back in training and available for selection and there aren't any major injuries across the full team. Nuno Espirito Santo has been trying out different teams in training, especially changing the midfield and trying different combinations, seeing what works and which midfield combination can exert most pressure and influence in midfield.

Atletico Madrid are known for their relentless pressure in midfield and physical play, so they have to be countered at their own game and really shut down in midfield to prevent their attacks, while Valencia CF can and should take advantage of their weak defensive wide areas with players like Piatti and possibly Feghouli running at their fullbacks at pace and creating counter attacking chances.

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

Technical Details Valencia CF (probable setups):
Formation: 4-3-3
Line-up: Diego; Barragan, Mustafi, Otamendi, Gaya; Fuego, Enzo, Parejo; Feghouli, Negredo, Piatti.
Tactics: Medium defensive line, own third pressure, mixed passing, counter attacks.

Match Prediction:
Atletico Madrid 2-2 Valencia CF
This it will be firecracker match. Both teams are capable of scoring goals, Atletico Madrid are vulnerable on the counter with speedy flank attacks, while Valencia CF have usually been weaker in the midfield and teams catching the defense a bit out of position and things like that, something that Atletico Madrid can exploit.
Ultimately I think both teams will score 2 goals and the match will end in a 2-2 draw.