Thursday, February 10, 2022

Athletic Bilbao vs Valencia CF Cup semifinal

It wasn't an easy road but here is Valencia CF facing Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish cup semi final. Unlike Athletic Bilbao who had to face FC Barcelona and Real Madrid on their way to the semi final, Valencia CF had much easier opponents, but even so we didn't always have an easy path to victory and it took luck to beat some of the opponents. This is Valencia's first big challenge in the cup and its against Valencia's former coach Marcelino leading a solid team who beat Barca and Real Madrid to reach this position.

There is no question that this is going to be the toughest opponent yet and it would require much better play in order to overcome. Good news is that Valencia CF showed that they can play good football in the second half of last match as the team went on the offensive and tried to win the match against Real Sociedad, creating several good opportunities on goal and coming close to scoring on a few.

Everyone is available apart from Gabriel Paulista who is sidelined with a long term injury, while Jasper Cillessen and Alderete were both training normally before this match, though they might be lacking proper fitness just yet, so its questionable if we'll see them featured in the squad for tonight. 

Unfortunately I won't be able to catch the first half of the match due to work, but should be home for the second half, so there should be a match report. 

In terms of the match outcome I'm leaning slightly towards Athletic Bilbao as they are playing much better in the cup and Marcelino is a strategic master, he does know how to setup a team to counter his opponents. They are also playing at home and Valencia CF has a poor track record away from home, so I'm guessing 2-1 victory for Atheltic Bilbao on this one.