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Valencia ready for rousing Rangers welcome

Unai Emery is expecting "a special atmosphere" away against in-form Rangers FC on Wednesday but promised that his Valencia CF side will be thinking only of victory in Glasgow.

Valencia ready for rousing Rangers welcome
Valencia ready for rousing Rangers welcome ©UEFA.com

Rangers FC may have posted four points from their first two Group C outings, but manager Walter Smith is well aware of the "size of the challenge" facing his side as they prepare to entertain Valencia CF on Wednesday, ahead of a trip to Spain on Matchday 4. His counterpart Unai Emery is meanwhile expecting a strong showing from his charges in "a special atmosphere".

Walter Smith, Rangers manager
From the outset of the group stage, we knew Valencia and Manchester United were the teams who would be expected to progress. Our next three games in the section are against those two teams so we know the size of the challenge. To be fair to ourselves and Bursaspor, we do not have that kind of quality at our disposal. Hopefully, however, we can take confidence from our performances so far.

Valencia were top of table in Spain going into their game against Barcelona at the weekend and had an excellent first half against them. They struggled in the second period, but I don't think there's a team in the world who could play 90 minutes in Barcelona and have it all their own way. It's difficult for any team to deal with the loss of their two best players [David Villa and David Silva]. They look as though they have covered for the loss and their performances so far this season have been excellent. They will be an extremely difficult side for us to overcome.

Unai Emery, Valencia coach
We've come here in search of victory – our only aim is to win, not to draw. We are preparing ourselves to produce a good performance. Given the standings in the section at the moment, it appears as if the winner takes all between Rangers and us. However, in my opinion it is too early to say this is the decisive game for us.

Rangers are having a fantastic domestic campaign, but they use a different style in Europe. Obviously they have used five defenders in the first two games, but I am also aware of the threat they pose on the counter. We have to be ready for all those eventualities, and we also have to impose our style of play and our approach on Rangers. The role of the crowd can be important and we expect a special atmosphere, but our players have played all over the world. They have to be focused on what is happening on the pitch, not off it.

Team news
Lee McCulloch (groin) misses out, with James Beattie (thigh) and John Fleck (hamstring) also expected to be absent. Kirk Broadfoot missed the weekend match against Motherwell FC with a foot injury but could feature, having received a positive result from a scan on his injured ankle.

Miguel (thigh), Mehmet Topal (ankle) and Joaquín (ankle) were ruled out of Saturday's loss to FC Barcelona, along with long-term absentee Hedwiges Maduro (torn hamstring). Sofiane Feghouli is out for three weeks with an adductor injury.

Weekend results
16/10/10 Rangers 4-1 Motherwell FC
(Naismith 47, Davis 62, Miller 65, Weiss 67; Blackman 44)
Rangers equalled the record for consecutive victories at the start of a Scottish Premier League season – eight – set by Heart of Midlothian FC in 2005/06, and equalled by Celtic FC on Sunday. Vladimír Weiss scored his first goal since joining Rangers on loan from Manchester City FC, while Steven Davis got off the mark for the season. Kenny Miller has scored in seven of Rangers' eight league matches this season.

16/10/10 FC Barcelona 2-1 Valencia
(Pablo Hernández 38; Iniesta 47, Puyol 63)
Barcelona came from behind to hand Valencia their first Liga defeat since 8 May, when they lost 2-0 at Villarreal CF. David Albelda replaced the injured Mehmet Topal, while Aritz Aduriz dropped to the bench in favour of Éver Banega.

Did you know?
Rangers and Valencia first met in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup second round in 1979/80, with John Greig, now a club director, in charge of the Scottish side.

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