Unai Emery has instructed his Valencia CF players not to think of the consequences when they host second-placed Bayer 04 Leverkusen in UEFA Champions League Group E. The Spanish side are one position and four points behind their opponents and know a defeat could end their hopes of reaching the last 16. The importance of the match is not lost either on Leverkusen's Robin Dutt, who describes the Mestalla fixture as being like a final.
Coach Unai Emery
We aren't thinking about what will come after the game. With the improvements we have made since the last match we are convinced that we will win. We must be together and go for everything.
We're convinced that tomorrow will be a great night and we appeal to the fans to be part of it. We don't think beyond the game − we will play for the fans' enjoyment and to be in the next phase. We respect all of Leverkusen's players, whether they have [Michael] Ballack available or not.
The important thing is our team. We know what to do to stop them; we have to play with personality.
We need to read the game in every way. In Germany we conceded two goals in 15 minutes due to the fact that we didn't read the game properly. We are prepared for all situations. We will give our all from the first minute to the last, plus whatever the referee adds on.
Saturday: Valencia 3-1 Getafe CF (Feghouli 12 25, Aduriz 76; Castro 23)
Guaita; Miguel, Rami, Víctor Ruíz, Mathieu; Pablo Hernández, Albelda, Banega, Feghouli (Alba 56); Jonas (Piatti 77), Soldado (Aduriz 62)
• Sofiane Feghouli scored his first league goals for Valencia, who moved onto 21 points from ten league games – four more than at the same stage last season. It is only the third time in 13 outings this term that Valencia have scored more than one goal.
Sergio Canales is expected to be sidelined for up to six months after partially tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee last week. Hedwiges Maduro is out with torn ankle ligaments.
Coach Robin Dutt
We have worked very hard to get here with this [four-point] advantage. Against Chelsea it was very hard, as it was versus Valencia, which was perhaps one of our hardest matches at home.
Victory is the main objective but we're expecting a very tough game. We haven't had to work on making sure the players are extra motivated.
This is like a final because if they win they'll still have a chance of being in the next round − if we win we'll be through.
We have prepared thoroughly for dead-ball situations because we struggled a lot from them in the last match against Valencia. They caused us a lot of problems, but Valencia have many options and we will need to be very focused to counter their strengths.
Friday: SC Freiburg 0-1 Leverkusen (Ballack 2)
Leno; Schwaab, Toprak, Friedrich, Kadlec; Bender, Castro, Ballack (Rolfes 65), Sam, Schürrle (Reinartz 83); Derdiyok (Kiessling 74)
• Ballack scored his first Bundesliga goal since the last day of 2005/06 as Dutt oversaw victory at the club he coached for four seasons before taking the reins at Leverkusen this summer.
Ballack went off on 65 minutes against Freiburg after breaking his nose in a challenge with Jan Rosenthal. The midfielder trained today wearing a lightweight protective mask and Dutt has confirmed he is fit to play. Tranquillo Barnetta, René Adler, Renato Augusto and Michael Ortega are all out with knee injuries though Bastian Oczipka is poised for his first game since breaking an ankle in February.
Valencia's record against German clubs is W4 D10 L10. At home the statistics are W3 D7 L1 but they have never won a UEFA Champions League fixture against German visitors.
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