Reds' respect for Valencia
Manchester United are aiming to make it two wins from two in the Champions League this season when facing Valencia at Old Trafford tonight (Tuesday).
Manager Jose Mourinho could turn to midfielder Andreas Pereira for tips on how Valencia operate. The Brazilian spent last season on loan at the Mestalla and he acknowledges the year helped his development.
“I had a really good season and it helped me a lot to come back as a stronger player here at United,”Pereira told United Review, the club’s official matchday programme.
“I think I’m more prepared now and I think it was very good to have the year in Valencia. They are a very big team and they know what they’re doing, so we have to watch out.”
Los Che are managed by former Sevilla and Villarreal boss Marcelino, and Pereira knows, from experience, how organised the coach's sides are.
“He will prepare the team right against us and try to make it difficult. Now they are in the second year together so they are used to playing with each other.
“They played all last season there like a 4-4-2 formation and they are very aggressive on the counter-attack, so I think they will try to do that against us as well. Maybe [they will] hold a bit back and look to score some goals on the break.
“They have a good squad and a good striker in Rodrigo, who is my friend. We should look out for him. He is doing very well for Spain and I’m very happy for him. David [De Gea] plays with him in the national team so he knows him well.”
Hard work & dedication Gallery
See who's training before our Champions League game against Valencia.
“He is great striker,”De Gea told MUTV.
“He has a very good left foot; he’s clever and powerful. They have some great players so it’s going to be a tough game.
“They like to have the ball, to press high; it’s going to be a really hard game.
The 27-year-old kept a clean sheet in United’s opening group game victory against Young Boys and knows beating Valencia could be a massive step towards achieving qualification for the round of 16.
“It’s a really tough group,”he said.
“We played Young Boys and they were a really good team. It was hard to win there, [as it will be against] Juventus, they’re the top seeds in this group, but, Valencia, they have a good team and we need to play good football, press high and play our best football to win.”
Victor Lindelof also played in Switzerland two weeks ago and believes it was vital to kick off our European campaign with a victory.
“We made the perfect start in the Champions League against Young Boys,”he said.
“It was the start we needed. It was very important to get three points.
“I think if we can just focus and do our thing we can do good things in Europe this year. That’s our goal.”