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Maduro cautious despite Bursaspor's struggles

Valencia CF defender Hedwiges Maduro could make his second Group C start when Bursaspor visit, with the centre-back "aware of the threat they pose" despite a lack of points or goals.

Hedwiges Maduro could add to his one group-stage appearance so far this season
Hedwiges Maduro could add to his one group-stage appearance so far this season ©AFP

Hedwiges Maduro has warned of the dangers a Bursaspor side fighting to save their European season will pose when Valencia CF host the UEFA Champions League Group C strugglers on Wednesday.

The Turkish titleholders arrive at Mestalla with no points or goals in the section so far, while Valencia sit second, two points ahead of Rangers FC. Though everything points towards a home win, Maduro knows the outcome is far from a foregone conclusion, particularly with the visitors clinging to the slim hope of UEFA Europa League qualification, not to mention being ten matches unbeaten on the road in domestic football.

"Every game is different but they are the Turkish champions and so they demand our respect," stressed Maduro, who could take the place of injured captain David Navarro in central defence. "We are very aware of the threats they pose."

The home team approach the game in good heart having put a recent bad run of Liga form behind them by taking four points from their last two matches, and will qualify for the last 16 if they better Rangers' result against Manchester United FC. With that in mind, Maduro called on the Valencia supporters to play their part in helping the two-time runners-up through with a game to spare.

"When our stadium is full we are more motivated and because of this we are hoping for a packed house," explained the 25-year-old former AFC Ajax player. "Playing at home in this tournament is always a special occasion and you can be sure we'll be going all out to win."

Maduro has more reason to look forward to the match than most in the Valencia squad. The former AFC Ajax player could make only his second appearance in the competition this season − the first was against United on Matchday 2 − having been overlooked due to the displays of Navarro and Ricardo Costa in recent games.

Should he be given another chance on Wednesday, the Dutch international says he is raring to go. "I'm ready to help out in whatever way my coach feels I am needed," he said. "When Valencia win, I personally win, which is why I have to continue to work for the benefit of my team."