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Valencia hope to take big step against Bursaspor

After moving second in Group C, Valencia CF go into their home meeting with bottom side Bursaspor knowing victory will propel them into the last 16 if the result in the other game also goes their way.

Valencia hope to take big step against Bursaspor
Valencia hope to take big step against Bursaspor ©UEFA.com

Valencia CF go into their home game with Group C's bottom team, Bursaspor, looking to strengthen their hold on second place in the section – and perhaps even book a place in the UEFA Champions League's last 16.

• Unai Emery's team moved two points above third-placed Rangers FC with a 3-0 victory against the Scottish club at Mestalla on 2 November. Another home success against Bursaspor will secure their qualification to the knockout stage for the first time since 2006/07 if Rangers fail to beat Manchester United FC in the group's other fixture.

• Ertuğrul Sağlam's charges have more modest aims. They suffered a fourth straight loss when going down 3-0 to United last time out to end their hopes of progress, meaning the tournament new boys are still seeking their first point and goal.

Match background
• Valencia, 4-0 winners in Bursa on Matchday 1, have never failed to beat Turkish opposition at Mestalla in three previous encounters.

• Moreover Bursaspor have still not scored an away goal in a major UEFA competition after six attempts, including their UEFA Cup Winners' Cup campaigns of 1974/75 and 1986/87, and the Group C visits to Rangers and Manchester United which each brought 1-0 defeats.

• Of those six away games, the Turkish champions lost four. They earned goalless draws at Finns Harps FC and Dundee United FC in the first and second round respectively of that 1974/75 campaign.

• Although Bursaspor had never met Spanish opposition prior to this season, their coach Sağlam faced Valencia as a player with Beşiktaş JK in the 1996/97 UEFA Cup third round. Sağlam played in Beşiktaş's 3-1 defeat in Spain but missed the 2-2 return draw in Istanbul. The substitute who replaced him in the first leg was Mutlu Topçu, today his assistant coach.

• The man in charge of Beşiktaş for that contest, Rasim Kara, had previously kept goal for Bursaspor in their 1974/75 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup run.

• Valencia's only other past meetings with Turkish teams came in their triumphant 2003/04 UEFA Cup campaign. The Spanish side needed an added-time David Navarro goal to defeat Beşiktaş 3-2 at home in the third round first leg before a 2-0 success in Istanbul. Rafael Benítez's team faced Gençlerbirliği SK in the next round and overcame a 1-0 first-leg loss with a 2-0 home victory, Vicente hitting the extra-time winner.

Team ties
• David Albelda was also involved in those 2003/04 ties, appearing in the first leg against Gençlerbirliği. Bursaspor right-back Ali Tandoğan played in both matches for Gençlerbirliği.

• Juan Mata appeared as a second-half substitute in Spain's 1-0 home victory against Turkey in FIFA World Cup qualifying on 28 March 2009.

• Valencia midfielder Mehmet Topal played for Çanakkale Dardanelspor and Galatasaray AŞ before moving to Mestalla. He suffered a 1-0 defeat in Bursa with Galatasaray last season.

• Bursaspor's Argentinian midfielder Federico Insúa spent 2003/04 on loan at Málaga CF and was in the team beaten 1-0 at Mestalla and 6-1 at home by Valencia.

• Bursaspor's Serbian defender Milan Stepanov had a loan spell at Málaga last season, suffering a 1-0 loss at Valencia on his second Liga appearance.