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Valencia out to wrest top spot from United

Manchester United FC and Valencia CF may have already confirmed their progress from Group C but first place is still to be decided when they meet at Old Trafford on Matchday 6.

Valencia out to wrest top spot from United
Valencia out to wrest top spot from United ©UEFA.com

Manchester United FC and Valencia CF may have already confirmed their progress from Group C but first place remains to be decided when they meet at Old Trafford on Matchday 6.

• The unbeaten home team hold a three-point lead and can only be overtaken if Valencia beat them. To do that Unai Emery's team must find a way past the UEFA Champions League's only unbreached defence, though Valencia should not lack confidence having scored nine goals in their last two group fixtures.

• United beat Valencia 1-0 in Spain and if the visitors win by the same scoreline, so cancelling out any head-to-head advantage, they will finish first because of their superior goal difference.

Previous meetings
• The clubs first met in the 1982/83 UEFA Cup. On 29 September 1982, Valencia prevailed 2-1 at Mestalla to win their first round tie after a goalless opener. Bryan Robson (45) gave United the lead but Valencia replied through Daniel Solsona (70) and Roberto Fernández (75).

• They met again in the UEFA Champions League second group stage in 1999/2000, United winning 3-0 at home – Roy Keane, Ole Gunnar Solskjær and Paul Scholes the scorers – and drawing 0-0 away. United topped the group but Valencia went on to reach the final.

• The following season they pitted wits in the second group stage once more and this time played out two draws, 0-0 at Mestalla and 1-1 at Old Trafford after Wes Brown's own goal (86) cancelled out Andrew Cole's 12th-minute opener. Valencia won the group and reached the final again.

• Vicente and David Albelda were unused replacements for the clubs' 2001 Mestalla meeting, then appeared as substitutes at Old Trafford. United's team included Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, Scholes and Brown. Neville and Scholes are the only survivors of the 1999/2000 stalemate in Spain.

Match background
• United have recorded eight wins, eight draws and two defeats at home against Spanish opponents.

• Valencia's 0-0 draw at Chelsea FC on their last visit to England in December 2007 – their final game in that season's UEFA Champions League – started an impressive run of away results in Europe with five victories and just one defeat from 14 games.

• The Spanish club are unbeaten on their last five trips to England although they have still won only once on English soil – 1-0 at Liverpool FC in the 2002/03 UEFA Champions League group stage. Their overall record is W1 D8 L4.

• United lost 2-0 to FC Barcelona in the 2008/09 UEFA Champions League final but beat the same opponents 2-1 in the 1990/91 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup final.

• Valencia beat Arsenal FC on penalties to capture the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup after a goalless draw in the 1979/80 final. They then got the better of Nottingham Forest FC in the following season's UEFA Super Cup, and in 2000/01 defeated Arsenal and Leeds United AFC in successive rounds to reach the UEFA Champions League final.

Team ties
• United's 1991 triumph against Barcelona was the second time Sir Alex Ferguson had claimed that trophy at the expense of Spanish opponents after his Aberdeen FC side defeated Real Madrid CF 2-1 in the 1983 final.

• César Sánchez was on the bench for Real Madrid in both legs of their 2002/03 quarter-final win against United. He spent five months with Tottenham Hotspur FC in 2008/09 but played just 16 minutes as a substitute in a League Cup win against Liverpool FC.

• Ricardo Costa suffered home and away losses against United with VfL Wolfsburg in last season's UEFA Champions League group stage.

• Alejandro Domínguez was in the FC Zenit St Petersburg side that beat United in the 2008 UEFA Super Cup.

• Manuel Fernandes faced United with two different clubs in 2006/07. He was on loan at Portsmouth FC when they lost 3-0 at Old Trafford in November 2006. By April he was on loan at Everton and scored to put them 2-0 up against United at Goodison Park, only for Sir Alex's men to fight back and win 4-2.

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