Match Preview: Valencia CF vs. Manchester United


By Ben Davies

After a disappointing result/performance against Glasgow Rangers in Game Week One of Champions League, Manchester United will be hoping to bounce back when they face Valencia at the Mestalla on Wednesday.

Info on Valencia:

  • Valencia are currently top of Group C after romping to a 4-0 victory over Bursaspor.
  • Despite losing David Villa and David Silva, Valencia find themselves first in La Liga after claiming four victories in their first five fixtures. Aritz Aduriz is their leading goal scorer with three goals in all competitions.
  • Players to watch out for: Roberto Soldado and Mehmet Topal.
  • Team News: Joaquín Sánchez is unavailable due to a suspected thigh injury. Doubts surround Éver Banega and Vicente Rodríguez after missing out on recent weeks.
  • In the 2009-10 season Valencia finished third in La Liga.
  • Los Che failed to qualify for the 2009-10 Champions League after finishing sixth in the previous season. They took part in the inaugural Europa League and lost at the Quarter Final stage (on away goals) to the eventual winners Atlético Madrid.
  • The Spanish Club has twice been Champions League runners up: in 2000 (losing 3-0 to Real Madrid) and 2001 (losing 5-4 on penalties to Bayern Munich).
  • Valencia is placed third in the all time La Liga table (behind giants Real Madrid and Barcelona).

Man United Team Selection Discussion

In recent years 4-5-1/4-3-3 has been the preferred formation for away fixtures in the Champions League, Wednesday night is unlikely to be different, especially considering the number of goals conceding this season. Team selection has perhaps one or two questions in defence and midfield.

John O’Shea has been favoured at right back so far this season, but I feel we may see a change tonight with either Wes Brown or Rafael given an opportunity. We may also see Rio Ferdinand replace Jonny Evans. Due to fitness I’m not entirely convinced Rio is the solution for defensive frailties, but his return may bring confidence to others in the backline. Suring up midfield is likely to have a greater impact. Patrice Evra will remain at left back – he requires a performance after a slow start to the season.

Now to midfield, the biggest concern without Paul Scholes? With the absence of the influential midfielder, Anderson is the most likely to start alongside Darren Fletcher. Michael Carrick has made a timely recovery from injury and has travelled with the squad. If fully fit Carrick would be my preferred choice, but if not I’d have no problem with Darron Gibson making up the three man midfield. His better performances have come whilst playing in a three man midfield, notably Bayern Munich at Old Trafford and away to Manchester City. Gibson may not have been a standout player at the Eastlands, but he grafted and did the donkey work allowing Scholes to dictate play – hopefully he can fulfil a similar role so Anderson can shine.

With limited options on the wing positions Ji-Sung Park and Nani are likely starters. I’m not greatest fan of Park playing on the wing, but this game is ideal for him and his better attributes will be utilised.

With Wayne Rooney unavailable Dimitar Berbatov is likely to play the lone striker role. If Anderson is the furthest forward midfielder I’m interested to see how he and Berbatov link up. Could be one or two frustrated looking faces tonight….

At the start of every match I believe United will win – for the first time this season I’m slightly concerned with the outcome of Wednesday’s game. The midfield without Scholes is a real worry – doesn’t inspire great confidence. A tight low scoring game me thinks – a 1-0 victory for either side or a 1-1 draw is my score prediction.

Predicted Team: Van der Sar; Brown, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Gibson, Fletcher, Anderson, Park; Nani, Berbatov.

If you wish to discuss this issue further with myself or other members of the Stretford End Arising community, you can do so in the Stretford End Arising Forum

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  1. i take a o-o right now. we are missing attacking players all over the pitch. draw toinght. puts us on 2 pionst velencia on 4 pionts. rangers win 4. we beat velencia at honme which puts us on 5 pionts. win out in turkey 8 pionts , velencia beat rangers at honme 8 pionts.. rangers on 4 pionts. they beat that team out in turkey 7 pionts. united beat turkey team nack at old trafford 11 pionts. rangers draw with velencia at honme, 9. velencia 11 pionts. after they win at honme to turkey team. we go to rangers and draw 12 pionts. we top the group buy one piont i think that right i have being doing it all moring. but it could all change if we win toingh whicjt woulld a lot easier

  2. United can win tonight regardless, we’re still good enough to do over the spaniards…we’re too good to be beaten, draw be a disaster.

  3. sadly I feat that your comment about allowing “Anderson to shine” won’t come to fruition. I hope I am wrong but he has gone downhill since joining us in 2007.

  4. @SEA

    hello mate. I reckon we will nick it today. Everyone’s thinking we’re already out, and United love it this way i.e. they love to prove people wrong.

    I have a feeling (Weird one it is) that Fergie will start with Bebe today on the left. It’s almost definitely going to be a 4-5-1. Brown and Rio will play, Gibbo, Fletch and Ando in midfield with Berba up front.

    Predo: 2-1 to United

  5. van der sar
    brown vidc rio evra
    nani flecther carrick o shea
    i think o shea did well against everton. reports say owen could start. instead of berbatov. for once i hope there wrong. i thimk carrick is fitter than ando as he had few ganmes before his injury. i think its between ando or carrick i am going for carrick. and its between berbatov and owen. i am going for berbatov. o-o scoring lineing. i would be a happy to take a scrapy one nil win vidc a header nani cross

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