Valencia vs Manchester United

Valencia vs Manchester United Preview


Manchester United aim to avoid getting caught up by a strike in Spain and set up their own blockade against Valencia instead.

The country is set to come to a standstill on Wednesday in protest at savage cuts being imposed by the government to try and balance the books in one of Europe's most debt-ridden economies.
As a former trade unionist in the Glasgow shipyards, Ferguson is well versed in politics and reacted jovially when asked whether he was concerned about getting caught up in the action tomorrow.
Of far more concern to the Scot is shoring up a defence that has leaked nine goals in its five Premier League games, which means the return of Rio Ferdinand has not come a moment too soon.
"Rio is much fitter now," said Ferguson.
"He has had plenty of training, a couple of reserve games and matches against Rangers and Scunthorpe.
"He was out for five months so he still probably needs another game or so.
"But the important thing is he is coming back and we look forward to having him back."
Ferguson claimed to still be undecided about whether to select Ferdinand or Jonny Evans to feature alongside skipper Nemanja Vidic at the Mestalla.
Yet if that were true, it would be an odd situation given Ferguson left Ferdinand out of Sunday's clash with Bolton purely because he does not have the strength yet to get himself through two arduous tests in the space of four days.
Merely by missing that Scunthorpe encounter to watch Valencia in action personally against Atletico Madrid last Wednesday, Ferguson was underlining the importance of what will be United's 19th away game against Spanish opposition, from which they have emerged victorious just once, against Deportivo La Coruna in 2002.
"When you look at that statistic, obviously it is the hardest place for us to go," he said.
"Spain has produced cup-winning teams for years. You have to recognise that.
"The standard of Spanish football has been good for as long as I can remember, so we have a tough game tomorrow. We are all aware of that.
"But that is the great thing about the European Cup. You are going to face the best teams from Spain, Germany and Italy.
"That is what makes it such a fantastic tournament."
With Wayne Rooney, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs all ruled out, Ferguson has some tricky selection posers to solve.
Darron Gibson has tended to be used in Europe recently, so he is in contention for a midfield spot, possibly ahead of Michael Carrick, who has only just returned after an Achilles complaint and is badly lacking match practice.
Valencia winger Juan Mata claims the injuries to Rooney, Scholes and Giggs will make the home side's task no easier.
"Facing Manchester United is always difficult, regardless of whether they have a series of injuries to important players or not," said Mata, whose side hammered Turkish champions Bursaspor 4-0 away from home in their Group C opener as United drew 0-0 with Rangers.
"However, I think that they have a big enough squad to be able to have a good chance in this game.
"They have some top players, so even though Giggs, Scholes and Rooney have been ruled out they will be adequately replaced. It is always difficult to play against them and those who play will be giving 100%."
The Spanish side go into the game sitting top of the Primera Division table, ahead of Barcelona and Real Madrid and defying the critics who predicted they would struggle to compete following the loss of David Villa and David Silva in the summer.
"The truth is that we are in good form, above all in terms of confidence," said Mata.
"We also have results in our favour as the start of the season is going very well. That helps in these types of games."


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