UEFA Champions League: Manchester United vs Valencia preview


Struggling Manchester United are looking to get things back on track when they host Valencia at Old Trafford in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday. The two teams have met a few times in European competitions, starting in 1982 and up to 2010. The head-to-head record is pretty evenly matches, Manchester United have won two of the eight direct matches, Valencia have won just one, while the other five were draws. Last season Manchester United were knocked out of the Champions League by a Spanish team, Sevilla defeated them 2-1 on aggregate in the first knockout round.

Manchester United are going through a period of unrest in the dressing room and poor results on the pitch, and it seems that manager Jose Mourinho might be heading towards the exit if things don't improve soon. Everything seemed to be falling apart immediately after their 3-0 victory at Young Boys in the first Champions League match of the season, the next weekend they got held to a 1-1 draw at home by Wolves, then last week they crashed out of the League Cup against Derby County and then lost 3-1 at West Ham United at the weekend. That string of results dropped the Red Devils into tenth place in the Premier League table, but at least they can stay afloat in Champions League Group H if they beat Valencia on Tuesday. Marcos Rojo, Ander Herrera, Jesse Lingard and Ashley Young are injured and will sit this one out.

Valencia had a terrible start to the season, they went seven matches without winning in all competitions before they finally put an end to that streak with a 1-0 victory at Real Sociedad last weekend. However, their lack of wins did not translate into defeats, they have recorded 5 draws out of 7 matches in LaLiga and only lost twice since the start of the season in all competitions. One of those defeats was in their inaugural Champions League match, they were defeated 2-0 at home by Juventus despite the controversial red card shown to Cristiano Ronaldo after just 29 minutes.

Probable line-ups:

Man United: De Gea - Valencia, Smalling, Lindelof, Shaw - Matic, Fellaini, Pogba - Mata, Lukaku, Rashford

Valencia: Neto - Piccini, Paulista, Murillo, Gaya - Soler, Parejo, Kondogbia, Guedes - Batshuayi, Gameiro

My prediction: 1-1 draw, Manchester United don't seem capable of beating a team like Valencia at the moment.

Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:

Man United win - 1.66
Draw - 3.90
Valencia win - 6.00

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