Sunday, February 28, 2016

Valencia CF vs Atletic Bilbao Match Preview

Valencia CF vs Atletic Bilbao Match Preview
Stadium: Mestalla
Date: 28.02.2016 16:00 CET
26th matchday, La Liga
Coaches: Gary Neville and Ernesto Valverde

Valencia CF is on a decent 4 wins streak in two competitions, having won two matches in La Liga and two matches in Europa League. With this mid season win against Rapid Wien by a 4-0 margin Valencia CF moves on to the next round of the Europa league where incidentally they meet Athletic Bilbao with whom we have a match in the league. Of course this game will foreshadow how the matches in the Europa league might look, it will also give the teams a little bit of practical info about each other and have a little bit time to improve on their weaknesses.
At this point Valencia CF need to take the Europa league very seriously as it is a path to Champions league football, if by some chance they manage to win it, though of course that is going to be very hard and the first obstacle will be Athletic Bilbao.

Last time these two teams met in La Liga Athletic Bilbao won 3-1 at home in what was a comfortable win for them. Since then Valencia CF has changed its coach, so it would be interesting how Gary Neville copes and what he's done. It will be a sort of a mini test to see how much the team has improved if at all, I'd like to see good plays tomorrow and at the Mestalla it wouldn't be unreasonable to expect a hard fought win.

Gary Neville has pretty much the whole squad available to him and he rested most of the first team in the Europa league match, so he has all of the players fresh and ready. It would be interesting to see who he opts out for at left back, Gaya played in the mid week, but will he get the nod over Siquiera?
Another question is whether Paco or Negredo would start, Negredo has had somewhat of a resurgence in recent times and has been relatively good.

Valencia CF Squad:
Goalkeepers: Diego, Ryan
Defenders: Cancelo, Barragan, Mustafi, Santos, Vezo, Siquiera, Gaya
Midfielders: Fuego, Danilo, Parejo, Enzo Perez, Gomes, Feghouli, Piatti, Cherushev
Forwards: Negredo, Paco Alcácer, Santi Mina, Moreno

Technical Details Valencia CF (probable setups):
Formation: 4-3-3
Line-up: Diego; Cancelo, Mustafi, Santos, Siquiera; Enzo Perez, Parejo, Gomes; Mina, Paco, Cheryshev
Tactics: Low defensive line, own half pressure, mixed passing, winged attacks, doubling down in attack