Valencia v United Preview!
Manchester United travel to Spain keen to get their first win of the Champions League group campaign after drawing with Glasgow Rangers in the first game.
Their opponents, Valencia, in stark contrast, started their campaign with a 4-0 win to cement them as early group leaders. Valencia are also riding high in their domestic league topping it after five games.
United have arrived in Valencia without the injured Antonio Valencia and Owen Hargreaves. Also left behind in Manchester were Wayne Rooney (ankle knock), Ryan Giggs and the old war-horse Paul Scholes who is being rested after his exertions at the Reebok Stadium on Sunday.
But, Sir Alex could be welcoming back Michael Carrick and Rio Ferdinand to the fold. Carrick could well replace Scholes in midfield whilst Ferdinand is likely to replace Jonny Evans at the heart of the United defence, alongside Nemanja Vidic.
Valencia are not the side they once were when it comes to big-names with David Villa and David da Silva both having left for pastures new. But they still have some decent players and the key battles on the pitch could be between Mehmet Topal And Darren Fletcher, Roberto Saldado and Rio Ferdinand and David Navarro and Dimitar Berbatov.
Although United have a few injury worries and have left three exciting talents back in Manchester, the Valencia player, Juan Mata, had quite a bit to say about facing United when he remarked at his press conference,
"British teams are very physical and the pace of the games is much faster than in Spain.'
'In physical terms, we'll have to be at our peak,' he added. 'But we also have to stick to our football philosophy and keep possession of the ball and hopefully that will be enough.'
As for the Valencia head coach, Unai Emery, he had a few words to say about our won Sir Alex, commenting,
'I don't know him very well personally but I know his background, career and the trophies he has won'
'He is a model for any coach around the world and you can learn a great deal from him."
'We always show great respect for every team but showing respect is very different to fear. We respect Manchester United and their players but we don't have the slightest fear of any opponent.'
As for United getting a positive result, there is no doubting that we can`t go on conceding soft goals, especially late on. But, with the hopeful reintroduction of Rio Ferdinand were hopeful the defence will stiffen up. But with Dimitar Berbatov likely to be the loan raider up front this could be a low scoring game. I don`t reckon United will lose but I don`t reckon we`ll win so I`m sitting on the fence and going for a 1-1 draw!
Please prove me wrong United!
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