Valencia PreviewBy: Corey | April 16th, 2010
Its funny, the last time we played Valencia, it was a great game, but I was in the midst of a storm of tests, papers and presentations. The return leg of the Valencia game comes around and look where I am. Back in that storm, although this time its only papers and presentations. Only one test, and its three weeks off. Probably the most surprising yet gladly welcomed surprise of my last semester of school. With that being said, this weekend’s preview will be an abbreviated one. I will be working away in the library for the next two weeks, and I have to go in to the city this weekend so I will probably miss the match. Handy having Bassam around to do match reviews though!
As I said, the last time we played Valencia I was busy, so Cesar filled in for me on the preview. You can find that here. It will have to suffice for now unfortunately.
As for team news, Valencia will have Manuel Fernandes suspended after his appeal was turned down, and has injury problems at the back. The fearsome foursome of attackers are all healthy and in decent form, so Emery will hope that they can keep Real busy long enough to relieve some of the pressure on their patch work defense. Against Bilbao, Emery used David Albelda as a center back, Jordi Alba as a left back and had Ruen Baraja and Ever Banega as a the center midfield partnership. David Silva was able to win the game for them with two nicely taken goals, but Bilbao’s physical approach did not really test Valencia’s weak spots.
My expected lineup from Valencia:
Real Madrid Team News:
The first game was a real cracker, but I dont expect this one to be as entertaining or passionate. Real, according to reports, looked a little disinterested against Almeria, despite having a majority of possession and a ton of shots. If this is a wrong impression feel free to tell me otherwise in the comments, I missed the match so I am unsure. None the less, despite a mathematical chance of winning the title still, the situation is still pretty dire and the season is all but over. A few good performances may save a few players this summer, and it certainly will help Pellegrini, as he nervously squirms through the World Cup not knowing what his fate will be.
Porteros: Casillas y Dudek.
Defensas: Arbeloa, Ramos, Marcelo, Albiol, Garay
Centrocampistas: Gago, Diarra, Lass, Guti, Granero, Xabi Alonso, Van der Vaart.
Delanteros: Cristiano Ronaldo, Higuaín, Benzema, Juanfran.
Juanfran and Mateos made the bench against Almeria which was nice to see, but neither got any time. I dont foresee that changing in this game either. Garay is back from suspension, but Kaka, Raul and Metzelder are all still injured.
Its probably highly unlikely, but Id like to see Benzema and Higuain play together. They are the partnership of the future, especially next season. Pellegrini also needs to utilize Ronaldo as a winger more. He will still score as many goals, do as many step overs etc. I dont think his effectiveness is diminished if he plays wider and maybe a tad deeper. If Benzema does not play, insert Marcelo in to the midfield to help the rather slow Arbeloa handle the pace of Valencia’s wingers.
Leave your comments on the match here and have a good weekend everyone!