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Valencia need Lyon win as Neville takes reins

Gary Neville has his first official match as Valencia CF head coach when the Liga side welcome eliminated Olympique Lyonnais for their must-win final Group H game.

Valencia in training
Valencia in training ©AFP/Getty Images

Valencia CF take on Olympique Lyonnais in their must-win final Group H game with a new head coach at the helm in Gary Neville.

• The former Manchester United FC and England right-back was appointed head coach at Mestalla on 2 December, following the departure of Nuno Espírito Santo two days earlier.

• Valencia, third in Group H, need to win and hope that second-placed KAA Gent fail to beat FC Zenit in order to leapfrog the Belgian side.

• For Lyon, there is only pride to play for after their elimination was sealed by a 2-1 home defeat by Gent last time out.

Previous meetings
• Valencia defeated Lyon twice when the clubs met in the 2000/01 UEFA Champions League first group stage. Zlatko Zahovič hit the only goal at Mestalla and Héctor Cúper's Valencia won again three weeks later as Juan Sánchez and Rubén Baraja scored prior to Steve Marlet's late reply.

• The lineups in Spain on 27 September 2000 were:
Valencia: Cañizares, Angloma, Djukić, Pellegrino, Carboni, Mendieta, Milla (Zahovič 71), Baraja, González (Vicente 80), Sánchez, López (Carew 62).
Lyon: Coupet, Chanelet, Laville, Edmílson, Bréchet, Linarès (Govou 82), Malbranque, Foé, Müller, Anderson, Marlet.

• Jacques Santini's side still qualified as group runners-up behind Valencia, that season's eventual beaten finalists.

Match background

• Valencia have not given up hope of reaching the last 16 for the first time since 2012/13 despite losing their last two games, at Gent (0-1) and Zenit (0-2).

• Valencia have lost just one of their last nine home games in Europe – the 3-2 reverse against Zenit on matchday one.

• They have got the better of one Ligue 1 side already this term having beaten AS Monaco FC in the UEFA Champions League play-offs, winning 3-1 at home before a 2-1 loss in the principality.

• Prior to this season, they last faced French opposition at home in the UEFA Champions League in 2012/13, beating LOSC Lille 2-0 in the group stage but then succumbing 2-1 to Paris Saint-Germain in the round of 16 – their only home defeat against a French side.

• Their overall home record against Ligue 1 opposition is W9 D0 L1.

• Valencia beat Olympique de Marseille 2-0 in the 2004 UEFA Cup final in Gothenburg.

• Lyon are looking to avoid an unwanted first, having never before ended a UEFA Champions League group stage without a single win to their name.

• The Ligue 1 side are on a four-match losing run, which began with Valencia's 1-0 success at the Stade de Gerland on matchday two.

• Lyon's last visit to Spain was for a 0-0 draw at Real Betis Balompié in the 2013/14 UEFA Europa League group stage. Anthony Lopes, Henri Bedimo, Bakary Koné, Clément Grenier, Maxime Gonalons, Samuel Umtiti, Jordan Ferri and Alexandre Lacazette all started; Nabil Fekir and Arnold Mvuemba came off the bench.

• They last prevailed in Spain when defeating Athletic Club 3-2 in the 2012/13 UEFA Europa League group stage with a winning goal from Lacazette.

• Lyon's overall away record against Liga clubs is W2 D4 L7.

Coach and player links
• New Valencia coach Neville scored one of his two UEFA Champions League goals as a player in a 2-1 home win for Manchester United over Lyon in the 2004/05 group stage.

• He is not entirely new to European nights at Mestalla having played there for United in goalless draws in the second group stage in 1999/2000 and 2000/01. It was further up the coast in Barcelona that he and his brother Phil, his assistant coach, won the UEFA Champions League with United in the 1999 final against FC Bayern München.

• Neville and Rafael were team-mates at United from 2008–11.

• Lyon coach Hubert Fournier's European debut as a player was in SM Caen's 4-3 aggregate defeat by Real Zaragoza (h 3-2, a 0-2) in the 1992/93 UEFA Cup first round.

• Aymen Abdennour was in the Monaco side who eliminated Lyon from last season's French League Cup on penalties after a 1-1 draw at the Stade de Gerland.

• Lucas Orbán played for FC Girondins de Bordeaux at the Stade de Gerland in a 1-1 Ligue 1 draw against Lyon in October 2013.

• Sofiane Feghouli has also played in French football with Grenoble Foot 38 (2006–10).

• Sergi Darder was sent off after 27 minutes of Málaga CF's 3-0 defeat at Valencia in August 2014.

• Rafael faced Valencia with United in the 2010/11 UEFA Champions League group stage (1-0 a, 1-1 h).

• Mathieu Valbuena played against Paco Alcácer in France's 1-0 friendly victory over Spain in September 2014.

• Players who have played together:
Lopes & Ruben Vezo, André Gomes (Portugal)
Rachid Ghezzal & Feghouli (Algeria)

Match facts

• Rúben Vezo is suspended following his matchday five red card; Shkodran Mustafi, Enzo Pérez and André Gomes will incur a ban with their next bookings.

• Santi Mina scored his first goal for Valencia to earn a 1-1 draw against Barcelona on 5 December under caretaker coach Voro.

• João Cancelo and Javi Fuego were sent off as Valencia lost 1-0 at Sevilla FC on 29 November.

• Defenders Cancelo and José Luis Gayá, with his first club goal of the season, were among the scorers in Valencia's 3-1 win at Barakaldo CF in the first leg of their Copa del Rey round of 32 tie.

• Mat Ryan started in Seville – his first appearance for club or country since 30 August after recovering from a knee injury – and against Barakaldo.

• Antonio Barragán (hamstring), Diego Alves (knee), Shkrodan Mustafi (hamstring), Álvaro Negredo (knee) and Rodrigo (knee).

• Jordan Ferri serves a one-match ban; Samuel Umtiti and Maxime Gonalons are within a booking of suspension.

• Lyon have won just one of their last seven games in all competitions, losing five, most recently a 2-0 home defeat by SCO Angers on 5 December.

• Making his first appearance of the season, reserve goalkeeper Mathieu Gorgelin deputised for Lopes (hip) during the 0-0 draw at FC Nantes on 1 December. Lopes returned for the Angers game.

• Recovered from a thigh injury, Clément Grenier came off the bench in the 4-2 home defeat by Montpellier Hérault SC on 27 November – his first Ligue 1 outing since mid-May.

• Umtiti has not featured since hurting his thigh in Lyon's 3-0 win against AS Saint-Etienne on 8 November. Lyon have not won since.

• Gueïda Fofana (ankle) has yet to play this season.

• Aldo Kalulu injured his left ankle – sprain and ligament damage – in training on 13 October and was signed off for two months.

• Nabil Fekir, a scorer of four goals in as many Ligue 1 appearances in 2015/16, suffered ligament and meniscus damage to his right knee on his first start for France, a 1-0 victory in Portugal on 4 September.