Valencia out to recover their verve

Having opened with victory at FC Schalke 04, three successive defeats have left Valencia CF bottom of Group B ahead of the return game with the German club.

Valencia CF's sixth attempt to win the UEFA Champions League began with a victory at FC Schalke 04 but then veered so far off course that they find themselves bottom of Group B after three successive defeats. They must hope that the return fixture with the German club reawakens the form that enabled them to make such a strong start.

• David Villa scored the only goal at the Arena AufSchalke on 18 September and also shot Valencia ahead against Chelsea FC on Matchday 2. But the London visitors struck back to emerge victorious and then Rosenborg BK posted back-to-back 2-0 wins against the Spanish club, the second coming in Ronald Koeman's first game in charge after he was appointed to succeed Quique Sánchez Flores.

• Those results make it imperative that Spain's east coast club win this game though with a final group fixture away to Chelsea – where their hopes died last season in an enthralling quarter-final struggle – they would still have the odds against them as they try to secure a qualifying place for the second successive season.

• To put themselves in the best frame of mind, Koeman's charges would be advised to avoid turning to the record books which show that they have not beaten German opponents on their own soil in the last four attempts. The last encounter came in the final of the 2005 UEFA Intertoto Cup when Hamburger SV drew 0-0 in Spain having won the first game 1-0.

• Their only previous home meetings with German rivals in the UEFA Champions League came in the 2004/05 group stage, when they lost 2-0 to Werder Bremen, and in the 1999/00 first group stage when they were held 1-1 by FC Bayern München.

• It was Bayern who denied Valencia the coveted trophy the following season when they triumphed 5-4 on penalties in the final after the sides had drawn 1-1 at San Siro. Twelve months before, Real Madrid CF defeated them 3-0 at the same stage with the Stade de France the venue for the final.

• Bayern were the first German side to play at Mestalla in a UEFA club contest. That game, in the 1967/68 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup quarter-finals, ended 1-1. There followed a run of three games against visitors from Germany in which Valencia won every one.

• Schalke came close to inflicting Chelsea's first defeat in the competition on Matchday 4 with Heiko Westermann demanding two fine saves from Petr Čech and both Rafinha and Peter Løvenkrands striking the woodwork. But the goalless draw at the Arena AufSchalke means they remain four points behind the London side and three adrift of Rosenborg and their prospects of qualifying for the knockout rounds are in need of a boost.

• Schalke's only previous visit to Spain for a UEFA Champions League game came in the 2001/02 first group stage and resulted in a thumping 4-0 success at the expense of RCD Mallorca. They also have good memories of their next visit – a 3-0 victory against RCD Espanyol in a Round of 32 contest in the 2005/06 UEFA Cup. Schalke progressed to the semi-finals where a 1-0 loss away to Sevilla FC meant they bowed out of the tournament, the home game having ended scoreless. In six visits to Spain they have won two and drawn one.

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