C.S. Maritimo vs Newcastle United Europa League match preview
Posted on September 20th, 2012 | 10 Comments |
Venue: Estádio dos Barreiros, Funchal, Madeira.
Date: Thurs, 4th October.
Kick off: 6:00pm
Referee: Robert Schorgenhofer.
UK TV: ESPN.
Before I begin, I wrote a previous piece giving some general background on Maritimo in my series probing our Europa League Group Stage opponents.
In this preview, I will concentrate more on Maratimo’s style of play and their performances this season, along with some videos of the Madeirans in action this term. I will also try to cover the usual match preview stuff such as team news for both sides amongst other things.
Maritimo’s style of play, and season so far.
Coached by former Sporting Lisbon defensive midfielder, Pedro Martins, Maritimo are a fairly typical side from the Iberian leagues (Spain and Portugal). They prefer a passing game with lots of possession and formation wise they usually line up as a 4-3-3, though as you can see from the illustrations, they sometimes opt for 4-2-3-1 when they are feeling confident and offensive. The 4-2-3-1 allows them an extra man in offensive free role with two holding midfielders to keep themselves solid and cut out any counter attacks. They usually seem to play with quite a high line with their wingers getting right up to feed their lone strikers and the full backs frequently “bombing forward” to join in the fun on the flanks.
They are currently fifth in Portugal’s Primeira Liga after three games, the position they finished last season to get into this competition. They opened this one with a 0 – 1 away victory over Rio Ave FC. This was followed by two draws, a 0 – 0 home draw with Gil Vicente FC and finally, another home draw, 1 – 1 with Portuguese giants and ex Bobby Robson managed club, Sporting Clube de Portugal, aka Sporting Lisbon.
In the Europa League they have played four games so far, two matches over two legs against Greek side, Asteras Tripolis, and then another two against Georgian side, Dila Gori FC. The Asteras Tripolis one is quite interesting in that they are very comparable to previous opponents, Atromitos. They drew both games, with the first home leg being a 0 – 0 draw, and the second one being a 1 – 1 away draw which saw Maritimo going through with a single away goal. The next round saw them going through with relative ease, slaying the Georgian Dragon 1 – 0 at home and 0 – 2 away for a comfortable 3 – 0 aggregate victory which saw them through to the current group stage.
With no other cup games so far, this means that Maritimo have played a total of seven games in all competitions so far this season. Of these they have won three and drawn four with six goals for and two against. It’s not a huge amount to go on I know, but in terms of strengths and weaknesses it seems they are tight at the back, but are currently having problems scoring goals in abundance. This is possibly because there are no really highly prolific goal scorers in the Maratimo squad since they lost their Senegalese hitman (they seem to be almost compulsory nowadays), Baba Diawara to Sevilla in Spain. He scored no less than 15 goals in only 22 appearences for them in the first part of last season before his move.
The 23 year old Brazilan Fidelis seems to be the usual striker choice this season. He is a young player who has worked his way up through the ranks at the club, though more on him below. Usually supporting him upfront this season have been are the 23 year old Guinea Bissauian forward, Sami, Cape Verdean 23 year old attacking midfielder Héldon, Franco-Portuguese attacking midfielder, David Simão, who isn’t 23, being a mere pup at 22 years old. There is also the older Brazilian striker and winger, 26 year old Danilo, and finally, there is another Brazilian, midfielder Rafael Miranda. Maritimo seem to have a very settled back four which usually consists of Rúben at left back, Captain and right back, Briguel, who is the oldie of the side at 33. Meanwhile, the centre Back positions are usually filled by yet another Brazilian, 26 year old João Guilherme and 25 year old Frenchman, Valentin Roberge.
Maritimo in action.
Below are some video highlights of Maratimo’s season so far in both the Portuguese “Super Liga” and the Europa Cup.
Highlights of Rio Ave 0 – 1 Marítimo.
Highlights of Maratimo 0 – 0 Gil Vicente.
João Guilherme’s free kick goal in Maritimo’s 1 – 1 draw with Sporting Lisbon.
A compilation of Maritimo’s goals in this season’s Europa League so far, along with a stirring soundtrack.
The above mentioned Fidelis (short for Philipe Fidelis dos Santos) has scored 5 goals in 27 appearences since being promoted from Maratimo’s B team at the end of the 2008-09 season. However like our own Shola Ameobi, he made many of his appearences as a sub before establishing himself so that figure is deceptive. If you look at his minutes per goals scored figure, it is far more telling as he has scored a goal every 206 minutes, which isn’t that much more than a goal every two games. Incidentally, the same stat for the “Mackem Slayer” himself is a goal every 270 minutes, or, approximately, a goal every three games or so. Though Fidelis hasn’t scored in their three Primeira Liga games so far, he has scored twice in their four Europa League games against the Greek Asteras Tripolis and the Georgian Dila Gori.
The above mentioned centre back, João Guilherme, is not a prolific goalscorer by any means. However he is Maritimo’s highest goalscorer in the Primeira Liga this season, albeit with only two, and he can be a danger from free kicks seemingly if you look at the video of his goal against Sporting Lisbon below. I’m clutching at straws a bit here though!
The Madeirans will only be missing one player for this match, the suspended midfielder Rodrigo Antonio. As you can see from the previous line up images, he was sent off after picking up two yellow cards in Maritimo’s last Europa League game against Georgia’s Dila Gori.
S.C. Maritimo squad: Romain Salin (G), Ricardo Ferreira (G), Valentin Roberge (D), João Guilherme (D), Rúben (D), Briguel (D), Rafael (D), João Diogo (D), Márcio Rosário (D), Igor (D), Gegé (D), Patrick Bauer (D), Rafael Miranda (M), Héldon (M), David Simão (M), Luís Olim (M) João Luiz (M), Olberdam (M), Hassan (M), Rúben Brígido (M), Semedo (M), Danilo (M,F), Sami (F) Fidelis (F), Edivândio (F), Gonçalo Abreu (F), Ibrahim Obayomi (F), Adilson (F).
Suspended: Rodrigo Antonio.
Of course, we all know about the club’s injury woes at present, however that is academic for the purposes of this preview as the squad have already travelled to Funchal and is already known, with Alan Pardew opting for a mostly reserve and youth side. The full squad who have flown out are:
Newcastle United squad: Steve Harper (G), Rob Elliot (G), Steven Taylor (D), Mike Williamson (D), James Tavernier (D), Davide Santon (D,M), James Perch (D,M), Vurnon Anita (M,D), Shane Ferguson (M,D), Sylvain Marveaux (M), Gabriel Obertan (M), Dan Gosling (M), Romain Amalfitano (M), Gael Bigirimana (M), Mehdi Abeid (M), Haris Vuckic (M,F), Sammy Ameobi (M,F), Shola Ameobi (F), Adam Campbell (F).
We have actually visited Maratimo at their Funchal home once before. That was back in August 1982 with Coxy in the dugout and a week before the permed one’s debut for the Magpies against Queens Park Rangers. In a sunny pre season friendly by the Madeiran coast, another member of what would become that great attacking triumvirate of Beardsley, Keegan and Waddle, Waddle, scored the only goal of a 1-0 win. Apparently, according to the nufc.com, then keeper, Kevin Carr, tried to walk through a plate glass window at the team’s hotel on that occaision!
Of course, while nothing is entirely predictable in football, a full strength Newcastle side should have the capabilty of beting Maratimo convincingly. However, as you can see above, our silver haired Captain Hannibal won’t be taking the A-Team as he has prioritised the Premiership over the cup competitions. Hence, this could be a much tighter affair than one would normally anticipate. Maritimo should be slightly stiffer test than our previous Europa League games against Greek side Atromitos, and if you recall, those two games were quite a close call against fairly similar Newcastle sides to the one which will be contesting this game by the look of things.