Friday, February 12, 2016

Valencia CF vs RCD Espanyol Match Preview

Valencia CF vs RDC Espanyol Match Preview
Stadium: Mestalla
Date: 13.02.2016 20:30 CET
24th matchday, La Liga
Coaches: Gary Neville and Constantin Gâlcă

This match is make it or break it for Valencia CF and Gary Neville tomorrow night, anything but a win here would mean Valencia CF is officially in relegation battle and for Gary Neville would hopefully mean a well deserved sack. He's not managed to win one single match in La Liga and while the result in the cup was decent before the FC Barcelona fiasco, its still not nearly enough to atone for the bad results in the league.

There is enough blame to go around for who is responsible for the bad results and the position Valencia CF find itself into right now, but tomorrow night everyone needs to come together and win. The players need to play great football, they need to give 200% percent, drop everything on that field, fight for every single ball, cover more ground than your opposition, outrun them, outplay them, outdesire them for the win.

We know the team is capable of winning, we know that the team can do much better than they are doing, last season showed us that, but they need to find the motivation and consistency and give it their all every single time. They can't fall back on what they did last season, they can't feel like they are great players when they are losing matches left and right. Their heads need to be clear and focused purely on winning, nothing else should matter and they should do everything to achieve that victory.

RCD Espanyol are not a great team, they've had few very good season in La Liga where they were in the Europa league spots and always presenting a challenge, but the past few season and especially this one they've been a poor team, they are playing badly this season, they are in a relegation battle, they've lost most of their matches, their goal difference is atrocious, so it shouldn't be hard at all to beat them. Real Sociedad gave them a beating last week, crushing them 5-0 at their home terrain, Real Madrid crushed them before that 6-0, so in the past two matches they conceded 11 goals, in the past 5 matches they've conceded 18 goals. That's right, in their last 5 matches they've conceded 18 goals, that is 3.6 goals on average per game, so basically they concede 4 goals per game. 

If Valencia CF can't score against the current Espanyol team they can't score against anyone, it shouldn't present any problem to score against them and if the team can score first and gain that initial boost of confidence they can probably score more and should score more. 
That said our defense has been leaky as well, Valencia CF has conceded at least one goal in the last 15+ matches, probably more. The last time Valencia CF managed to keep a clean sheet was on 31st of October in 2015 against Levante. So the team has to perform significantly better in defense as well and it has to start from tomorrow. 

Valencia CF coach Gary Neville is on the brink here, a loss against Espanyol and personally I don't think he should continue, think Peter Lim would still want to keep him, but even he'd have problems finding justification as to why. If Gary Neville can't win even one match with Valencia CF even against terrible opposition, I don't see how we can't do better than him?!

With all that said he will have the welcome return of Paco Alcacer and Enzo Perez who are both healthy again and will be able to play tomorrow, they've been training for a whole week and should be fix at well. He is missing the suspended Gaya and some of the longer term injuries, but tomorrow he will be with as close to the strongest squad as he'll get as ever. He must make it work tomorrow, he must pick the best, most in form, most fit squad to start tomorrow who will be able to defeat Espanyol.

Valencia CF Squad:

Technical Details Valencia CF (probable setups):
Formation: 4-4-2
Line-up: Ryan; Barragan, Santos, Aymen, Cancelo; Feghouli, Enzo Perez, Parejo, Cheryshev; Paco, Moreno
Tactics: High defensive line, own third pressure, mixed passing, counter attacks, winged attacks