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Van der Sar wary but unfazed by Valencia trip

Difficult trips to Rangers FC and Bursaspor await, but Edwin van der Sar told UEFA.com that Wednesday's visit to Valencia CF will be Manchester United FC's toughest Group C challenge.

Edwin van der Sar knows Manchester United face a tough task against Valencia
Edwin van der Sar knows Manchester United face a tough task against Valencia ©Getty Images

Having made a superb start to the season, Valencia CF present a tricky test to a Manchester United FC side who have yet to hit top gear at Mestalla.

Shorn of David Silva's artistry and David Villa's goals over the summer, a Valencia side which finished third in Spain in 2009/10 have dusted themselves down in impressive fashion. Thirteen points from their opening five league games have put them top domestically, and they also lead Group C after a 4-0 Matchday 1 win away to Bursaspor.

United, Premier League runners-up to Chelsea FC last term, trail the Blues by three points and are two adrift of Valencia ahead of a daunting visit to Mestalla, where Unai Emery's charges have not lost in 11 European fixtures.

"It's going to be a difficult away game, of course," United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar told UEFA.com. "Valencia are top of the league at the moment, they are really playing well. They lost two good players in the summer and their replacements are doing very well. We are a little bit disappointed with results so we have to make up for it."

Sir Alex Ferguson made ten changes for the visit of Rangers FC two weeks ago and saw his team frustrated by a disciplined defensive display from the Scottish champions. Walter Smith's side returned to Glasgow with a point from a goalless draw, but does Van der Sar think United, renowned for their enterprising approach both home and away, would entertain the idea of similarly stifling their Spanish hosts?

"You're not going to go for a draw," added the former Netherlands No1, "but we're playing away against one of the strong teams in the group. You've got four teams who are all difficult and it can be hostile in Turkey and in Scotland. I think quality-wise, Valencia are probably one of the strong teams in the group.

"If you're at a certain point in the game and you're playing well, you're winning, and you concede late on, then you're not going to be happy [with a draw]. If they play you off the park and they peg you in your own penalty area, of course you'll be delighted with a draw. But if we create the most chances and maybe we hit the post, we hit the bar, their goalkeeper plays a blinder, then you're going to be disappointed."