Your essential guide to Valencia v United
Manchester United head into our final UEFA Champions League group-stage match knowing a win could see the Reds finish top of Group H.
The boss will be hoping for a similar performance to the one his side produced on Saturday, when the Reds cruised to a 4-1 win against Fulham at Old Trafford.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the game...
Wednesday 12 December | Champions League | Mestalla Stadium | 20:00 GMT kick-off | Live build-up on MUTV from 18:30 GMT | Referee: Georgi Kabakov
The Reds could be without several first-team players for Wednesday’s game. Eric Bailly, Luke Shaw and Anthony Martial missed Saturday’s win over Fulham through injury, while Chris Smalling was replaced in the second half with an apparent injury. The manager could give an update on the fitness of his squad during Tuesday’s pre-match press conference, which you can watch live on MUTV. Jose has already confirmed that Paul Pogba, Scott McTominay and Andreas Pereira will feature at the Mestalla, while Victor Lindelof and Alexis Sanchez are set to be absent again.
WHAT ABOUT VALENCIA?
Los Che could be without Gabriel Paulista for the match. The former Arsenal defender was forced off with a hamstring problem in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Sevilla and is unlikely to feature. Gabriel joins team-mates Jeison Murillo and Kevin Gameiro on the sidelines for Valencia. Full-back Jose Gaya is also unavailable as he serves a one-match European ban.
HOW'S THE GROUP SHAPING UP?
United and Juventus are guaranteed to finish in the top two spots in Group H but the winner of the group is yet to be determined. If United win and Juventus fail to beat Young Boys away from home, the Reds will top the group having scored more goals in the sides’ head-to-head fixtures. However, a win for the Italian side will ensure they finish in first place. Valencia know they will be third and play in the Europa League in the New Year, regardless of the result on Wednesday. Likewise, Young Boys will definitely finish bottom of the table.
The Spanish side are struggling on the domestic front and currently sit 15th in La Liga, having picked up just 18 points from their first 15 league games. Last time out, Marcelino's side earned a point against Sevilla thanks to an injury-time equaliser from Mouctar Diakhaby. They also qualified for the last 16 of the Copa del Rey last week with a 3-1 aggregate victory over CD Ebro.
WHAT'S OUR RECORD AGAINST THEM?
We have met Valencia nine times over the years. The Reds have won twice but lost just once in those games. The other six previous meetings have ended in draws, which is how it ended when the sides met at the start of October at Old Trafford. United dominated the game but couldn't find a winner and had to settle for a goalless stalemate. You can watch the highlights from that game below...
Highlights: United 0 Valencia 0
We controlled the game and created more chances, but could only draw when Valencia visited OT on matchday two...
The last time we travelled to Valencia was in September 2010, when the Reds emerged with a 1-0 victory thanks to a late strike from Javier Hernandez. The Mexican striker came off the bench eight years ago and his goal ensured we opened our Champions League campaign with a win. Current Red, Juan Mata, was also playing that night, although on this occasion he was wearing the white strip of Valencia.
WHAT'S JOSE'S RECORD AGAINST VALENCIA?
The boss has come up against the Spanish outfit on 13 previous occasions during his managerial career and is yet to lose to Los Che. Jose has won seven and drawn six times so far, while in charge of Chelsea, Real Madrid and the Reds respectively.
Should we win at the Mestalla, it will be the first time since 2010 that United have won all three away games in the Champions League group stage. On that occasion, we topped a group containing Valencia, Rangers and Bursaspor.
WHO'S THE REFEREE?
Bulgarian official Georgi Kabakov will take charge of his first-ever Champions League group-stage match on Wednesday. The 32-year-old will lead a team of Bulgarian officials including assistants Martin Margaritov and Diyan Valkov, fourth official Georgi Todorov and additional assistant referees Nikola Popov and Stanislav Todorov.
WHO ELSE IS IN ACTION?
Seven sides head into the final round of Champions League group matches knowing they can secure their place in the last 16, including our Premier League rivals Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur. However, United are one of 12 teams who have already qualified for the knockout stages. For the final time this season, all 32 clubs are in action over Tuesday and Wednesday. Here’s the full schedule...
Tuesday 11 December
Group A: Club Brugge v Atletico Madrid
Group A: Monaco v Borussia Dortmund
Group B: Barcelona v Tottenham Hotspur
Group B: Inter Milan v PSV Eindhoven
Group C: Red Star Belgrade v Paris Saint Germain
Group C: Liverpool v Napoli
Group D: FC Schalke 04 v Lokomotiv Moscow (17:55 GMT)
Group D: Galatasaray v FC Porto (17:55 GMT)
Wednesday 12 December
Group E: Ajax v Bayern Munich
Group E: AEK Athens v Benfica
Group F: Manchester City v Hoffenheim
Group F: Shakhtar Donetsk v Lyon
Group G: Real Madrid v CSKA Moscow (17:55 GMT)
Group G: Viktoria Plzen v Roma (17:55 GMT)
Group H: Valencia v Manchester United
Group H: Young Boys v Juventus
Matches kick off at 20:00 BST unless stated.
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