Manchester United were coming off three consecutive draws in the English Premier League, but left their woes in the rear view during this past weekend. Thanks to a commanding performance, The Red Devils defeated Fulham by a convincing 4-1 score at home. But they must change their switch quickly. Jose Mourinho’s men will travel to Spain to visit Valencia on Wednesday. The Red Devils have a golden chance to earn the top spot but for that to happen, they need to win and hope for a miracle in the other Group H match between Young Boys and Juventus.
The Red Devils could have several absentees ahead of this match. Alexis Sanchez and Victor Lindelof will remain out due to injuries, but others could be absent as well. Eric Bailly, Luke Shaw and Anthony Martial missed Saturday’s match against Fulham due to injuries, and all three will be game-time decisions ahead of this match. Chris Smalling was replaced in the second half as well, and all signs indicate he will miss the contest, too. Mourinho also confirmed that three players will start on Wednesday. These are Paul Pogba, Scott McTominay and Andreas Pereira.
Valencia, on the other hand, won’t have Jeison Murillo and Kevin Gameiro due to injuries. Jose Gaya has been ruled out as well due to a one-match European ban. And former Arsenal defender Gabriel Paulista could be out as well. The Brazilian left this weekend’s match due to a hamstring problem, and will be a game-time decision.
We can’t hide the fact that Manchester United have been inconsistent at the Premier League level. However, they have been better on Europe and have clinched three wins in their first five Champions League group stage matches. Manchester United have already clinched a spot in the Round of 16, and they could very well end at the top of the standings but only if they win, and Juventus lose to Young Boys. That seems quite unlikely, to say the least.
On the other hand, Valencia have absolutely nothing to play for entering this game. Los Che have already clinched a UEFA Europa League berth since they can’t reach the second spot, but can’t fall to fourth place, either. The Spanish outfit have also struggled on the domestic front, since they sit in 15th place in La Liga. Clearly, this season hasn’t gone according to plan for Marcelino’s men.
What is our all-time record against Valencia?
Manchester United and Valencia have played nine times over the years. The record has been quite even, with six draws out of those nine matches. United won two of those, and Valencia won the remaining one. When these two sides met earlier this year, United dominated the match but was forced to settle with a 0-0 draw at Old Trafford.
Manchester United have the edge here when it comes to “having something to play for”. The Red Devils know they must win in order to have a chance to top their group, but Valencia won’t make things easier, either. But I believe United will take advantage of their morale-boosting 4-1 win over Fulham the last time out to claim the three points here.