Valencia look for home comforts against Gent

Buoyed by victory at Lyon last time out, Valencia will host UEFA Champions League newcomers Gent on matchday three seeking their first home win in Group H.

Valencia players celebrate Sofiane Feghouli's winner in Lyon on matchday two
Valencia players celebrate Sofiane Feghouli's winner in Lyon on matchday two ©AFP/Getty Images

Valencia CF host Group H rivals KAA Gent on matchday three hoping to build on an encouraging victory last time out.

• Nuno Espírito Santo's side picked up their first points in this season's UEFA Champions League on matchday two when they won 1-0 at Olympique Lyonnais – their first win in the competition since December 2012.

Previous meetings
• The clubs have met previously in the 2005 UEFA Intertoto Cup when Valencia won the second leg 2-0 at Mestalla through goals from David Villa and Patrick Kluivert, following a goalless draw in Ghent.

• The lineups in Valencia on 23 July 2005 were:
Valencia: Cañizares, Caneira, Ayala, Moretti, Fábio Aurélio, Rufete (López 86), Albelda, Edu, Vicente (Juanlu 70), Villa (Di Vaio 64), Kluivert.
Gent: Herpoel, Smoje, Lombaerts, Laybutt, Håkonsen, Cooreman, Mamouni, Vrancken (Tracjev 73), Boussoufa (De Beule 73), Aliyu Datti, Zoko (Mladenović 68).

Match background

• Valencia are looking to return to winning ways at Mestalla after their 3-2 loss to FC Zenit on matchday one. They had previously gone seven games unbeaten at home in Europe – a sequence that included a 3-1 play-off victory over AS Monaco FC in August.

• When they last hosted Belgian visitors, they overwhelmed KRC Genk 7-0 in a UEFA Champions League group stage fixture in 2011/12, with Roberto Soldado hitting a hat-trick. Sofiane Feghouli, Daniel Parejo and Pablo Piatti all played that night.

• Their overall home record against opponents from Belgium is W4 D1 L1.

• The UEFA Champions League newcomers earned a point at home to Lyon in their opening match but subsequently lost 2-1 at Zenit on matchday two.

• With that defeat in Russia, Hein Vanhaezebrouck's men are still seeking their club's first away point in a UEFA competition group stage. The Belgian champions lost all three of their away fixtures in their only past group stage participation in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League.

• They are also looking for their first goal on Spanish soil. Prior to their aforementioned 2-0 defeat at Mestalla, they lost 3-0 at Málaga CF in their only other past trip to Spain in the 2002 UEFA Intertoto Cup.

Coach and player links
• As an Everton FC player, Valencia assistant coach Phil Neville lost a UEFA Cup first-round tie against R. Standard de Liège in 2008/09.

• Matthew Ryan played for Club Brugge KV between 2013 and 2015, winning the Belgian Cup last season. He saved a penalty from Nicklas Pedersen in a 3-1 victory for Brugge at Gent in December 2013 – although Pedersen did score against him twice that season. Ryan's overall record against Gent was W1 D2 L1.

• As a Malmö FF player, Erik Johansson lost 5-0 at Club Atlético de Madrid in the UEFA Champions League group stage on 22 October last year. It was his first visit to Spain for a UEFA competition fixture.

• Valencia's Zakaria Bakkali, who is not in the UEFA Champions League squad, is from Belgium and spent three years at the academy at Standard. He is a Belgium Under-21 colleague of Matz Sels, Hannes Van der Bruggen and Benito Raman and played for the senior Belgium side against Andorra on 13 October alongside Laurent Depoitre.

Match facts

• Valencia have scored only seven goals in eight Liga games this campaign (including three against Málaga CF on Saturday), eight fewer than at the same stage last term.

• Aymen Abdennour (hamstring), Diego Alves (knee), Ryan (knee) and Enzo Pérez (calf) are injured.

• Feghouli and Abdennour are among 37 nominees for the 2015 African Footballer of the Year award.

• Brecht Dejaegere completes a two-game ban on matchday three, while Depoitre's next yellow card will incur a suspension. Thomas Foket is available after a one-game ban.

• The loss to Zenit is Gent's only defeat in 15 games this season, including the Belgian Super Cup.

• Sven Kums scored a hat-trick in the 4-1 home victory over Club Brugge KV on 4 October.

• Depoitre made his senior Belgium debut on 10 October, scoring in a 4-1 UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying win against Andorra.

• Sels and Kums, both uncapped, were unused substitutes during that game and Belgium's final Group B qualifier at home to Israel.

• Uroš Vitas, who has not played this term because of ankle and hamstring injuries, has been an unused substitute in four of Gent's last six matches.

• Johansson suffered a knee ligament injury while training with Sweden in early September but returned to start in Friday's 2-1 defeat of R. Mouscron-Péruwelz.