Following a disappointing 0-0 stalemate with Rangers at Old Trafford, United are searching for three points and much needed momentum in Valencia…
With just one win in 18 games on Spanish soil and a stumbling away record this season, United face an uphill struggle to secure three points against a bang-in-form Valencia side, who sit top of La Liga and Champions League Group C. Sir Alex Ferguson’s men are boosted, however, by the impressive performances of strikers Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Owen, who will be looking to add to their recent run of goals. Valencia on the other hand, have been nothing short of superb having won five of six competitive matches this season. Despite being forced to sell star players David Villa and David Silva for financial reasons, the Spanish giants have been a revelation this season and currently sit top of La Liga.
Ins and outs
With the defence leaking goals, Sir Alex is likely to welcome Rio Ferdinand back with open arms as he looks to reignite his formidable centre-half paring with Nemanja Vidic. Midfield duo Anderson and Michael Carrick are also back after spells out through injury, and are joined by summer signing Bebe, who made his Reds debut against Scunthorpe in the Carling Cup last week. United are without the injured Wayne Rooney, Paul Scholes, Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs. Joaquín, David Albelda and Miguel are all expected to return for Valencia after sitting out Saturday’s 2-0 win over Sporting Gijon. Éver Banega (ankle) and Vicente (hamstring) are missing through injury.
With bags of pace and plenty of trickery, Spanish international Joaquín will give United's defence plenty to think about, particularly on the counter and from dead-ball situations.
Having excelled as manager of Spanish minnows Lorca and US Almeria, Unai Emery was offered the opportunity to replace Ronald Koeman as Valencia boss at the end of the 2008/09 season. In his first year in charge, Emery guided his side to sixth place and Europa League qualification. Then, last year, he went further and took his men to third place and the Champions League. His side currently sit atop of La Liga, with 13 points from their opening five games.
Viktor Kassai has so far officiated nine Champions League games, having recently made UEFA’s list of Elite referees. A travel agent in his native Hungary, Kassai's