Valencia v Celtic background

Valencia have won every previous round of 32 tie and look set to keep that record going as they hold a 2-0 lead for Celtic's visit.

Valencia's Denis Cheryshev (right) after opening the scoring at Celtic
Valencia's Denis Cheryshev (right) after opening the scoring at Celtic ©AFP/Getty Images

Valencia's perfect qualifying record from the UEFA Europa League round of 32 looks set to continue as they boast a 2-0 first-leg advantage over Scottish champions Celtic, who have never won in 15 previous visits to Spain. Furthermore, Valencia have never lost any of the 15 UEFA ties in which they have won away in the first leg.

• Valencia's autumn campaign was in the UEFA Champions League, where they finished third behind Juventus and Manchester United in Group H (W2 D2 L2).

• Celtic finished second in Group B, nine points behind Salzburg, and lost 2-1 at home to the Austrian champions in their final fixture only for a late equaliser for bottom club Rosenborg – who had lost their five previous games – at Leipzig to send them through at the German club's expense.

Highlights: Celtic 0-2 Valencia
Highlights: Celtic 0-2 Valencia

Previous meetings
• Valencia took command of the tie in Glasgow with unanswered goals either side of the interval from Denis Cheryshev and Rubén Sobrino. It was Celtic's joint heaviest home defeat in the UEFA Europa League/UEFA Cup.

• The clubs' only previous UEFA meeting ended with a penalty shoot-out win for Valencia at Celtic Park after both teams had won their home leg 1-0 in the 2001/02 UEFA Cup third round. The Spanish club also progressed when the clubs met in the non-UEFA 1962/63 Inter-Cities Fairs' Cup first round, a trophy they went on to retain.

• Valencia are undefeated in four games against visitors from Scotland, winning three of them including the last two, against Rangers in the UEFA Champions League group stage – 2-0 in 1999/2000, 3-0 in 2010/11.

• Celtic have won seven of their 31 UEFA matches against Spanish opposition, but none in Spain, where their record is D3 L12. They have lost on all of their last six visits, the most recent resulting in their heaviest European defeat as Barcelona overwhelmed Brendan Rodgers' side 7-0 at the Camp Nou on matchday one of the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League. Celtic have scored just five goals away to Spanish opponents, drawing a blank on ten occasions, and have won just two of their nine two-legged ties against teams from Spain. They also lost the 2002/03 UEFA Cup final 3-2 to Porto in Seville.

#UEL round of 32 first legs: Best goals
#UEL round of 32 first legs: Best goals

Form guide
Valencia
• Fourth in the Spanish Liga in 2017/18, Valencia qualified for an 11th UEFA Champions League group stage campaign after two consecutive seasons without European football. Runners-up in that competition in both 1999/2000 and 2000/01, they won the UEFA Cup in 2004.

• Valencia lost twice without scoring against Juventus in the autumn but took four points off both Manchester United and Young Boys, beating each at home and drawing away.

• This is the Spanish side's fifth appearance in the UEFA Europa League round of 32 and they have won all four previous ties, without conceding at home, against Club Brugge in 2009/10 (0-1 away, 3-0 home), Stoke in 2011/12 (1-0 away, 1-0 home), Dynamo Kyiv in 2013/14 (2-0 away, 0-0 home) and Rapid Wien in 2015/16 (6-0 home, 4-0 away). They reached the semi-finals in both 2011/12 and 2013/14.

• Valencia are now undefeated in their last eight round of 32 fixtures, keeping clean sheets in all of them. They are also undefeated in eight home games in the UEFA Europa League, with wins in the last five at Mestalla during which they have scored 17 goals and conceded just two.

• There have been 15 UEFA competition ties in which Valencia have led after the first away leg and they have qualified on each occasion. That includes three after a 2-0 victory, the most recent example of which was that 2013/14 round of 32 tie against Dynamo Kyiv.

#UEL round of 32 first legs round-up
#UEL round of 32 first legs round-up

Celtic
• Celtic won the treble of Premiership, Scottish Cup and League Cup for the second successive season in 2017/18 but were unable to secure a hat-trick of UEFA Champions League group stage appearances this term, eliminating Alashkert and Rosenborg in the first two qualifying rounds before defeat by AEK Athens. A 4-1 aggregate victory over Lithuanian champions Sūduva in the UEFA Europa League play-offs maintained Celtic's post-summer interest in Europe.

• The Hoops defeated Rosenborg twice more in the group stage and overcame Leipzig 2-1 at Celtic Park, which ultimately proved crucial as Celtic progressed from the group stage for the second time in five attempts.

• This is the third appearance in the UEFA Europa League round of 32 for the 2002/03 UEFA Cup runners-up. They lost both previous ties – to Internazionale in 2014/15 (3-3 home, 0-1 away) and, having crossed over from the UEFA Champions League group stage, Zenit in 2017/18 (1-0 home, 0-3 away).

• Until their matchday five win at Rosenborg (1-0) the Glasgow club had never won outside Scotland in the UEFA Europa League – with the exception of a 3-0 forfeit win at Sion in the 2011/12 play-offs after they had lost the original game 3-1. Their other 18 away matches in the competition have brought nine defeats and nine draws.

• Celtic have lost the first home leg of a UEFA tie seven times previously and have recovered to win only one – against Dinamo Moskva in the third qualifying round of the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League (0-1 home, 2-0 away). The last time they were defeated 2-0 at home in the first leg came in the following round that season as they succumbed to Arsenal in the play-offs (1-3 away).

UEFA Europa League squad changes
Valencia
In: Rubén Sobrino, Facundo Roncaglia, Kangin Lee
Out: Álex Blanco, Michy Batshuayi, Jeison Murillo, Rubén Vezo, Uroš Račić

Celtic
In: Oliver Burke, Timothy Weah, Jeremy Toljan, Eboué Kouassi
Out: Lewis Bell, Conor Hazard, Mark Hill, Lewis Morgan, Youssuf Mulumbu

Pick of the saves from the first legs
Pick of the saves from the first legs

Links and trivia
• Valencia goalkeeper Neto and Celtic defender Marvin Compper were team-mates at Fiorentina in 2013/14, when the Tuscan club reached the UEFA Europa League round of 16.

• Ezequiel Garay scored Benfica's winner against Celtic in a UEFA Champions League group game in November 2012 (2-1).

• Celtic boss Rodgers spent time at Valencia while studying for his Academy Licence and was also part of the Chelsea coaching staff when the Blues won 2-1 at Mestalla in an October 2007 UEFA Champions League group match.

• All four of Valencia's UEFA Europa League knockout phase campaigns have ended with elimination by fellow Spanish clubs – Atlético Madrid in the 2009/10 quarter-finals and 2011/12 semi-finals, Sevilla in the 2013/14 semi-finals and Athletic Club in the 2015/16 round of 16. Only in the latter case did their conquerors not go on to lift the trophy.

• This is Celtic's 16th European game of the season – more than any other team in the UEFA Europa League round of 32 bar Malmö, who also kicked off in the UEFA Champions League first qualifying round. It matches the Bhoys' longest previous continental adventure, in 2003/04.

• Celtic collected their first domestic trophy of the season – and their seventh in succession under Rodgers – when they defeated Aberdeen 1-0 at Hampden Park on 2 December in the final of the Scottish League Cup, Ryan Christie scoring the only goal as the Hoops won the trophy for the fourth year in a row and 18th in all.

Penalty shoot-outs
• Valencia's record in four UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W2 L2:
5-4 v Arsenal, 1979/80 European Cup Winners' Cup final
4-5 v Bayern München, 2000/01 UEFA Champions League final
5-4 v Celtic, 2001/02 UEFA Cup third round
3-4 v Steaua Bucureşti, 2004/05 UEFA Cup round of 32

• Celtic's record in three UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W1 L2:
4-5 v Internazionale, 1971/72 European Champion Clubs' Cup semi-final
4-5 v Valencia, 2001/02 UEFA Cup third round
4-3 v Spartak Moskva, 2007/08 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round

The coaches
• Marcelino's career as a midfielder, which included representing Spain at youth and Under-21 level, was curtailed at the age of 28 by injury. As a coach, he worked his way up the Spanish leagues, stints with Zaragoza, Real Racing Club and Sevilla preceding an impressive three-and-a-half-year spell at Villarreal, whom he guided to promotion, three successive top-six Liga finishes and the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League semi-finals. He was appointed by Valencia in May 2017.

• Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers retired early as a player but made his name in management at Swansea, steering the Welsh club into England's top flight before leaving for Liverpool in June 2012. He led the Reds to a Premier League runners-up spot in 2013/14 but was dismissed in October 2015, resurfacing at Celtic, where he won the Scottish treble with an undefeated record in his first season. All three trophies were successfully defended in 2017/18, making Rodgers the first Hoops manager to win the 'Double Treble'.

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