Thursday, January 12, 2023

Valencia CF after Facundo Pellestri

Valencia CF are going after Manchester United winger Facundo Pellestri. The offer is an initial loan deal for the rest of the season with an option to purchase the player at the end of the season. It's highly unlikely that Manchester United are going to agree with a buyout clause, though they might loan the player to Valencia CF in the hopes that he gets more play time. 

Facundo Pellestri joined Manchester United in 2020 from Uruguayan side Penarol, though was immediately loaned out Alaves for the 2021 and 2022 seasons. Only recently did he make his competitive debut in their victory over Charlton Athletic in the Carabao Cup. 

The player is very talented and has huge potential for the future, no wonder why Manchester United got him, but he is still young and inexperienced and has ways to go before he reaches his potential. Valencia CF is after him because they can get him for free on a loan deal, while other options would cost money, something Valencia CF wants to avoid in the winter transfer market! 

Real Madrid 1-1 Valencia CF Match Report (4:3p)

Unfortunate loss for Valencia CF who fought very hard against Real Madrid and gave them a hard time for most of the match, only to lose on penalties. 

Real Madrid started the match with high tempo and looking to take the lead over Valencia CF as early as possible. Their first big chance came in the 9th minute when Valverde released a through ball to Rodrygo who latched on to the ball, ran forward a long distance, entered the penalty area and shot, but it went wide.

Few minutes later it was Valverde who took a shot at goal from long range, but once again it went wide. Valencia CF would have a chance on their own in the 18th minute after Gaya's cross found Cavani who headed the ball, but Courtosis was alert and saved the goal. Only a minute later Toni Lato would fall in the penalty area and claim a penalty, but the referee waved play on.

On the other side of the pitch a similar situation would arise when Benzema went down in the penalty area and the referee immediately without any deliberation awarded Real Madrid a penalty. I would say this was likely a penalty if not for the reverse situation where Lato was fouled in the same way, but no penalty was awarded. Two almost identical fouls, what I'd call light fouls, but one was given and once was not. To me this is clear corruption, but whatever, we are used to this by now. 

Benzema would go on to score the penalty and give Real Madrid the lead. Thankfully their lead would not last long as Lino would go on to equalize the score after he intercepted a solid cross from the other side of the field by Lato. He anticipated the cross well, ran forward to position himself just right for the cross and then with a simple shot scored the goal.

The second half was subdued, not too many attacks as there were more fouls and stops to the match with both teams vying for control of the midfield and play becoming scrappier.

In the dying moments of the match Vinicius would have a big chance to score and give Real Madrid the victory, but Giorgi was alert, came out of his goal and blocked the shot giving Valencia CF a fighting chance in extra time and later on on penalties.

Real Madrid were the better team in extra time, they were the one looking for the win, they were the ones with the desire to win and Valencia CF goal was to survive essentially till the penalties and try and win it there. They would create several opportunities, some quite solid ones, but usually it was Giorgi that would save the goal time and time again.

In the penalty shootout both Valencia CF defenders blundered. Eray Comert shot above the goal and then for the must score penalty Gaya shot straight at the goalkeeper. A valiant effort by Valencia CF but felt short of winning. This could be a somewhat positive take as the team played some good football, generally competed well against Real Madrid and created some good goal scoring opportunities that could have punished Real Madrid. The defense is still generally kind of shaky, they still allow too many opportunities for the opposition and rely too much on the goalkeeper to get them out of trouble, to save the goal over and over again. 

I'd say I'm pleased with the performance; I didn't go in with any expectations into this match so I'm not disappointed, I can't be disappointed, I actually think if our team can play like this most of the time, we can actually win most of our matches and move up the table. This was overall a much better display than our previous two matches in La Liga. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Real Madrid vs Valencia CF Super Cup

Real Madrid vs Valencia CF Match Preview

Valencia CF are going to face Real Madrid in the Spanish super cup tomorrow. The other duo are Real Betis vs FC Barcelona, the matches will be played in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The Spanish super cup got overhauled in 2020, now it's a four-team competition that takes place in January. The top two teams in La Liga the previous season and the two Copa del Rey finalists make the four teams to play in the cup. If the same teams finish in the top two and reach the Copa del Rey final, then the spot goes to the 3rd placed team and so forth.
Real Madrid vs Valencia CF Super Cup Match Preview

Valencia CF qualified for this year's super cup by reaching the final in last year's Copa del Rey, while Real Betis were the winners. Real Madrid won the league title last season and also won the super cup as well, beating Athletic Bilbao to clinch the title. 

Valencia CF are coming to this match with two losses since the start of the second half of the season and will be looking to put those behind them with a win over Real Madrid. I wrote in last match's report how Valencia CF can lose to the weakest opponents and then go on to beat a team like Real Madrid or FC Barcelona, well they have the chance to do that tomorrow.

Real Madrid are also coming to this match with a loss to Villarreal, they lost 2-1 against them, same score Valencia CF lost to them just a week before that! Real Madrid is currently trailing FC Barcelona 3 points in the league and will be looking to get back to winning ways with a victory over Valencia CF tomorrow night! 

Valencia CF will be without Samu Castillejo and Nico Gonzales due to injuries, while Jaume Domenech has traveled with the team, but won't be available for selection because of injury as well. 

Real Madrid on the other hand are without their defender David Alaba, and their midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni, but have few returning players from injury who will be available for selection.

Valencia CF Line-up: Mamardashvili; Correia, Comert, Diakhaby, Gaya; Musah, Guillamon, Almeida; Kluivert, Cavani, Lino

Real Madrid Line-up: Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Rudiger, Mendy; Kroos, Valverde, Modric; Rodrygo, Benzema, Vinicius

It's going to be an interesting match for sure, I think Valencia CF are going to have stronger fighting spirit and extra motivation against Real Madrid, as such I do not expect Valencia CF to be more competitive than they've been in their last two matches, and I don't see it being a walk in the part for Real Madrid. That said it's going to be very hard for Valencia CF to win this match considering our form and the defensive weaknesses, realistically a draw would be a decent result, but as always, I'm preparing for a loss that way I can't be disappointed. 

RCD Espanyol to purchase Dimitri Foulquier

RCD Espanyol have offered Valencia CF 2 million euros for the purchase of Dimitri Foulquier, an offer Valencia CF deemed too low to accept, though they have shown willingness to listen for an improved offer. 

Dimitri Foulquier has not featured too much under Gennaro Gattuso and has been relegated as a backup to Thierry Correia, with Foulquier featuring 10 times, but mostly as a sub with only 289 minutes played so far in the season. 

Valencia CF isn't particularly interested in selling the player, certainly not for just 2 million euros when we lack cover the right back position and we have a mini-injury crisis with Nico and Samu both out of the squad for at least one month and longer, positions that Foulquier can cover as he can play central defense, right back, right winger and as a defensive midfielder. 

We'll have to wait and see if RCD Espanyol come back with an improved offer, 3 million euros seems to be the amount where Valencia CF might think about parting ways with Dimitry Foulquier. 

Liverpool and Chelsea FC going after Yunus Musah

The competition to acquire Yunus Musah is heating up with Liverpool FC the latest premier league club to show interest in the player. Jurgen Klopp is a fan of the player personally and is requiring Liverpool FC go after the player. 

That is not going be as easy for Liverpool FC as perhaps they would have hoped, as Chelsea FC have also shown interest in the player and are looking to add him to their squad. In fact, I wrote about this two weeks ago with Chelsea FC being one of the most serious contenders for the player, along with Fulham who were willing to offer up to 35 million euros to acquire the player. Valencia CF is demanding 40 million euros and with several premier league clubs vying for his signature there is no reason for Valencia CF to negotiate for the price. 

Whoever reaches that number is going to acquire the player, though if he is to be sold, it's unclear how Valencia CF is going to cover his absence, considering Nico got injured recently and will be out for at least 3 months and additionally Samu Castillejo also got injured during last match and will be out for at least a month. 

Yunus Musah has become more of a central midfielder, so we do sort of have cover for him, but he is very versatile and can cover multiple positions, which is part of his appeal, so it's going to be very hard to replace him, though maybe Valencia CF is waiting for exactly that to sell the player for 40 million euros and then purchase reinforcements! 

Either way there are several premier league clubs interested in the player with Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC being closely linked to the player, though as I reported previously, we might even see Fulham and other teams come in the spotlight. 

For 40 million euros I'd sell him, he is a solid player and has big potential, he's shown he can be very effective defensively, has a lot of speed as well, but for 40 million euros I think that is a fair price for him as of right now. There is no guarantee that he is going to become the next Silva or Aimar or Baraja for Valencia CF, so for 40 million euros I'd sell him. 

Sunday, January 8, 2023

Valencia CF to sign Luis Gerardo Chávez

Luis Gerardo Chávez
Valencia CF are interested in Pachuca midfielder Luis Chavez as they look to cover for the injured Nico Gonzales who suffered a serious injury that is going to have him absent for at least 3 months. Valencia CF were looking to bring in another winger but are now turning their attention to a central type of midfielder in order to cover for Nico's absence. 

He joined CF Pachuca in 2019 from FC Tinuana for 1.2 million euros and has helped them win the league title in 2022. His current market value stands at 8 million euros.

Luis Chávez is 26 years old, plays as a defensive midfielder, stands at 1.78m height and has so far featured in 16 matches for CF Pachuca and has scored 2 goals and provided 1 assist. 

With decent negotiations Valencia CF can sign the player for less than his market value, realistically 5 million euros should be enough to sign the player, since Luis has showed interest in continuing his career abroad and Europe is his preferred destination. Spain would be an excellent fit for him and Valencia CF a great club to continue his career at.

Saturday, January 7, 2023

Valencia CF 0-1 Cadiz Match Report

What a bad start to the second half of the season and to the new year, with back to back loses for Valencia CF. This team can be so frustrating to watch sometimes, as we can often lose even against the worst opposition with the worst stats in La Liga, but then two matches down the line we manage to beat a Real Madrid or a Barcelona. 

Just 8 minutes into the game and Valencia CF was already losing at home against one of the worst teams in La Liga with one of the lowest scoring records in the league. Someone needs to explain this to me as I just don't get it.

Valencia CF started attacking from the get-go with them controlling possession and looking to go forward and attack, but this also left spaces at the back and opportunities for Cadiz to counterattack. This is exactly how Cadiz managed to take the lead, as they intercepted a pass from Valencia CF, passed the ball to R. Sobrino who ran from his side's own third to Valencia's own third, managed to outrun and get past Ilaix Moriba and assisted the ball to R. Alcaraz who was just outside of the penalty area, took a long range shot and managed to score. 

Valencia CF 0-1 Cadiz CF

As the game progressed Valencia CF controlled most of the possession at around 75% percent, but most of it was in our own third, just passing the ball in circles, instead of forward and when they did manage to pass forward it was often blocked or intercepted by the opposition. Hugo Guiliamon was the most responsible for this as time and time again he passed inaccurately and straight into the opposition players, no forced errors or anything of the sort, just terrible passing. 

The best Valencia CF came to scoring in the first half was a claim for penalty, other than that it was mostly ineffective attacks with no finish. 

Gennaro Gattuso decided to change things up for the second half and introduced Andre Almeida for Hugo Guillamon and Justin Kluivert for Ilaix Moriba. An obvious and right decision, considering they were the weakest link in the squad. Hugo misplaced so many passes and put Valencia CF in bad situations and Ilaix was just completely ineffective in doing anything, the game passed by him as he was a spectator.

The changes brought some much-needed energy and urgency in Valencia's play, with Almeida doing a much better job in bringing the ball forward and spreading it around with precision! Its baffling since stats wise Hugo Guillamon is one of Valencia's most accurate passers with a high rate of passing, but tonight most of his passes were inaccurate and back to the defense. 

Valencia CF did play much better in the second half as a result and created more opportunities and chances, forcing Jeremias Ledesma to react and save his team on few occasions. While the effort was there, and more chances were created it just wasn't quality enough. There were barely any goal scoring opportunities, with most of the threat towards Cadiz goal being from low probability opportunistic shots, rather than clear cut goalscoring opportunities. 

The best chance for Valencia CF was probably Gaya's long range effort on goal that was saved by their goalkeeper. Valencia CF also had few claims for a penalty, but the referee wasn't having it and wasn't going to serve them a goal opportunity on a platter. The claims were realistically farfetched, and most referees wouldn't entertain them! 

Player Ratings:

Giorgi 6 - Questionable positioning for the goal, seemed a bit out of position and thus couldn't quite reach the ball, but barely at fault here. Had few other saves that make up for that suspect positioning.

Correia 5.5 - Defense wise it was an okay performance but going forward he was lackluster and scrambled few good opportunities. Overall, not an impressive performance.

Diakhaby 6 - It was an average performance by his standards, industrial performance with few clumsy moments, classic Diakhaby stuff.

Comert 6 - Not a great defensive showing considering he was playing against one of the weakest attacking teams but did not make any sort of big mistakes.

Gaya 7 - He was mostly absent in defense, but he was always on the other side of the field and attacking. Most of the attacks came through him and he had the best chance of the night to score. 

Yunus Musah 6 - Better than the other two midfielders in the first half, but that is not saying much. He was mostly accurate with his passes and did try to create something on that right flank but was hardly effective and didn't cause Cadiz many problems!

Hugo Guillamon 3 - One of the worst performances I've seen from him, inexplicable passing errors and lazy mundane passing. He was also lackluster in tracking opposing players and breaking up their play.

Illaix Moriba 3 - Possibly the guiltiest player for the goal, got overrun so easily, but he could have made a foul and stop the attack, back in the days an Albelda or Topal or Fuego type if they lost the duel, they would foul out the opposing player to prevent a dangerous counterattack. 

Samu Castellijo 5.5 - Was lively during his time on the pitch and had some good movement and dribbles but was unable to make a difference.

Edinson Cavani 5 - Not given much to play with, had few penalty claims and arguments with the opposing players, but did not contribute much to this match and was left without any goal scoring chances. Not to blame, but clearly not a game in which he can be a threat! 

Lino 6 - Combined well with Gaya on the left flank and was generally very active in attack, had some good movements and passes, but like the whole team he just could not muster up an end product.


Andre Almeida 7 - Justified substitution as he brough in better quality over Hugo and was key in moving the ball forward and spreading it around with precision. He has good playmaking abilities and seems to have huge potential for the future. I was impressed by his performance even if VCF lost and overall played poorly.

Justin Kluivert 6 - An upgrade over Illaix Moriba as he was much snappier and often run channels, something we lacked before his introduction, but like all others was unable to provide something concrete, to really change the course of the match. Decent effort but fell short. 

Hugo Duro 5.5 - Came on for the injured Samu and played decently, I liked his energy and combativeness, he wants to win, he wants to do good, so points for that, but in terms of finding himself in goal scoring positions or providing the key pass he was lacking.

Foulquier N/A - Not enough time