Valencia cf - AS Mónaco, RETURN

Objective: Return to the Top International Competition after a two-year absence

Valencia CF needs to prove that there is life with or without Otamendi, with no hesitations

Valencia CF vs AS Monaco
Valencia Cf should be prepared to face a tough season , but everything depends on the success of the Champions League playoff tie starting this week.

Against Monaco FC, Valencia CF will need to overcome the advantage that entails the return league to be played away. . Although all statistics show Valencia as favorite, Monaco is recently showing a high football level that predicts a tough tie.

Monaco a much more dangerous team than what statistics predict.

The last reference : February 25, 2015 , first match of the quarter-finals at the Emirates Stadium: Arsenal 1 - Monaco 3. A well-deserved victory for Jardim’s team , which based its game in a solid defence and fast counter-attacks. They showed a well worked 4-4-2 system, most likely similar to the one they will use in Mestalla this coming Wednesday.

The only official clash between Valencia CF and AS Monaco FC ended 5-3 on aggregate for Valencia, during the first knockout round of the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1980-1981 and with Bernardino Pérez ( Pasieguito ) as coach . But this happened many years ago, and it shouldn’t make us feel overconfident.

The most recent head to head data was the friendly match on August 2, 2014 at the Arsenal Emirates Stadium in London, where the final result was a 2-2 tie.

This new and decisive confrontation will carry a strong Portuguese flavour. tBoth coaches are Portuguese: Nuno Espiritu Santo for Valencia CF and Leonardo Jardim for AS Monaco FC. They also count with several Portuguese players, , in addition to the following former Benfica players:

For Valencia: Rodrigo Moreno (2010-2015), Enzo Perez (2011-2015), André Gomes (2012-2015) and João Cancelo (2014-2015). For Monaco: Bernardo Silva (2013-2015) , Ivan Cavaleiro (2013-2015) and Hélder Costa ( 2014- ), the last one on loan after playing for Deportivo La Coruna.

Valencia must be very clear on the basics for a double leg playoff:
First: keep a clean sheet
Second : Mark on the opposite goal at least once
Third : Stay focused regardless of how the match evolves. development
Monaco will base its game in quick and lethal counter-attacks, so Valencia should offer anticipation, fast defensive balance, line by line coverage , focusand interception .
It is important to keep and organized structure and tactical balance :

. At no stage of the match should Valencia CF players lower their contration levels

. Not to lose confidence

. Not to entertain negative thoughts if the match doesn’t go our way from the first minutes

And, above all , rely on the quality of the TEAM, keeping together the strength of the different lines , and avoiding individualistic actions.

Nuno should have forgotten by now the pressure suffered during the team’s presentation last week, and he will present a strategy that will lead us to a positive result for the second leg at the Stade Louis II in Monaco.
 ( Revista NOVA DIMENSIÒ, Valencia - Spain )