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Valencia vs Manchester United preview: Paul Pogba set to start

BayRadio | December 12, 2018

Man Utd face Liverpool on Sunday

Paul Pogba will return to the starting line-up as Manchester United travel to Valencia, having already qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League.

The midfielder has not started the last two games following a reported argument with manager Jose Mourinho after the 2-2 draw with Southampton.

However, with United already secured of a place in the next round, Pogba is set to start against Valencia along with Andreas Pereira and Scott McTominay.

Academy players Mason Greenwood and James Garner, both 17, could also feature as they have made the trip to Spain.

United ensured they will qualify from Group H with a 1-0 win over Young Boys in their last match and could finish top if they beat Valencia and Juventus do not win against Young Boys.

United beat Fulham 4-1 in the Premier League at the weekend and travel to leaders Liverpool on Sunday, live on Sky Sports.

Valencia are guaranteed to finish third in Group H and qualify for the Europa League whatever the result.

Team news

Former Arsenal defender Gabriel Paulista could miss out for Valencia after going off with injury in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Sevilla.

Jeison Murillo and Kevin Gameiro are also likely to be out while full-back Jose Gaya is suspended.

Manchester United are set to make changes ahead of their clash with Liverpool.

Eric Bailly returned to training on Tuesday but Anthony Martial, Luke Shaw and Chris Smalling were all absent.

Goalkeeper Sergio Romero is set to replace David de Gea while defenders Diogo Dalot and Matteo Darmian could be rested and Victor Lindelof and Alexis Sanchez are definitely sidelined through injury.

Opta stats

  • This will be the eighth Champions League meeting between Valencia and Manchester United, with the English club never previously having lost to the LaLiga outfit (W2 D5 L0) in the competition.
  • Valencia have won just one of their previous nine competitive meetings with Manchester United; with this coming at the Mestalla in the UEFA Cup back in September 1982 (2-1).
  • The last six competitive meetings between Manchester United and Valencia have seen just five goals scored – their game on MD2 of the 2018-19 UEFA Champions League ended 0-0 at Old Trafford.
  • If Manchester United fail to score against Valencia, it will be the first time since 2008/09 against Villarreal that they have failed to score both home and away against a group stage opponent.
  • Valencia have lost four of their last six Champions League games at the Mestalla Stadium (W2), having not lost any of their previous nine games there before this run.
  • Manchester United’s 1-0 victory against Young Boys last time out marked the 17th occasion that José Mourinho has won by that exact scoreline in the Champions League – only Carlo Ancelotti (24) and Sir Alex Ferguson (21) have done so more often.

Written by BayRadio

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