Having won all but one of their games this season, Valencia CF lead the Liga and Unai Emery is confident of building on an impressive Matchday 1 victory when Manchester United FC visit.
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Having led Valencia CF to five wins and a draw in their six matches this season, Unai Emery is confident of continuing that impressive run when Manchester United FC visit the Liga leaders at Mestalla. United have won only once in 18 visits to Spain and, with influential trio Wayne Rooney, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes missing, Sir Alex Ferguson acknowledged a second victory will be a tall order.
Unai Emery, Valencia coach
We are excited about this game, to the point where we just want it to start because we feel we can give a big performance. We are treating United with all the respect they deserve, regardless of missing players, but even though we respect our opponents we never fear them. We have to continue showing our own personality and abilities as a team, and to try and nullify theirs.
I don't think there's a favourite because they are better at some things, as we are at others. So we just have to be the best we can be, which also means that the crowd must play their part. If they are up for it, and our players are, then we will be that much closer to winning.
Sir Alex Ferguson, United manager
Obviously Spain is the hardest place to come and win.
The great thing about the Champions League is the chance to test yourselves against teams from Spain, Italy and Germany, that’s what makes it a fantastic tournament. One bad moment in a game can lose it, as we saw last year against Bayern. That was incredible, but it drives you on and hopefully we can be better this season. It was a disappointing result for us in the first game but we have five more matches to try and qualify.
Valencia have a very good record in this competition. They're top of the Liga; I watched them here last week and on television at the weekend. They are playing very well and I expect a tough game. You don't want to be without your best players. It was a big decision to leave Paul Scholes behind; for Ryan and Wayne there was no option. You cannot afford to be tempted in case of small injuries when you use the player and it causes another problem.
Winger Joaquín has been left out of the Valencia squad. Although no official reason has been given for this, reports suggest the player complained of discomfort in his right thigh forcing Unai Emery to leave him out.
Substitute Alejandro Domínguez was limited to just 19 minutes at Real Sporting de Gijón before being forced off with a hip injury while Juan Mata twisted his ankle in training on Monday, although both are expected to play. Éver Banega (ankle) and Vicente Rodríguez (hamstring) have not featured since being forced off against Real Racing Club on 11 September.
Sir Alex said Giggs will be out for two weeks after suffering a hamstring injury against Bolton Wanderers FC at the weekend while Rooney may miss three weeks with an ankle injury, Scholes has a calf problem and Gary Neville has also remained in Manchester due to a virus. Antonio Valencia (dislocated and fractured left ankle) is a long-term absentee, while Michael Carrick (Achilles) has been out of action since 28 August.
25/09/10 Real Sporting de Gijón 0-2 Valencia
(Mehmet Topal 7, Soldado 10)
Roberto Soldado, preferred to Domínguez, and Mehmet Topal scored their first goals for Valencia. With four wins and a draw from five matches, Valencia are five points better off than they were at this stage last term.
26/09/10 Bolton Wanderers FC 2-2 United
(Knight 6, Petrov 67; Nani 23, Owen 74)
The Red Devils extended their unbeaten away league record to eight matches, dating back to a 3-1 loss to Everton on 20 February.
Did you know?
United's sole victory away to Spanish opponents was a 2-0 success at RC Deportivo La Coruña in the 2001/02 UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg. United failed to score on their last three trips to Spain and their most recent meeting with Liga opposition brought a 2-0 loss to FC Barcelona in the 2008/09 UEFA Champions League final in Rome.
See the match background for more information.