Thursday, November 10, 2022

Valencia - Betis match thread

Apologies for such a short thread. Valencia's last game before the World Cup break sees a chance of revenge for the cup final in a tough game against high flying Betis. It's also a chance for us to break a run of negative results.

There are some variations in the line-up due to injuries, with Hugo Duro finally getting his chance up front, an all-Turkish centre back pairing of Comert and Cenk in defence for the first time and Castillejo finally starting after weeks of absence. The absence of Borja Iglesias gives us hope but goals, not possession, are needed to reverse the negative run.

Valencia finally turn possession into points with a solid win. The team played well in the first half albeit without creating many chances. I thought this may have ended one of those games where we did well in 1st half but went in with nothing to show and then blew it in the 2nd, luckily it wasn't to be. The turning point was the sending off of Edgar for 2 clear yellow cards. The first could even have been a straight red. Almeida hit a great free kick to open up the scoring. The penalty we got was dubious, I thought, but Guillamon placed it well and then Kluivert, put through one on one as in a previous game showed great finishing instincts. I do wonder if he's wasted on the wing? He's very dangerous around the box.

The 2 guys who really made a difference today were Castillejo and Almeida. The 1st is always a busy presence on the right, passing and recovering the ball well and he came close to scoring in the 1st half. Almeida is steadily growing into the number 10 role vacated by Soler and has shown signs of being a solid replacement. 

So Valencia go into the break on 19 points and 10th place. It could easily have been 3 to 5 more which would have put us in European places. The team needs stronger second half and late game performances. Maybe a change of formation to 4-4-2 might work in some games? People like Duro, Kluivert and Marcos Andre would do better with Cavani to play off. Work to do in the 2nd part of the season but it's not a lost cause.

I'll try and put some posts up in the coming weeks. Enjoy the world cup!