Champions League Preview: Valencia - Paris Saint-Germain
The Champions League returns after the winter break, with the Ligue 1 leader hoping to make significant progress in a competition it is expected to do well in.
By Mohammed Ali
Pereira, Rami, R Costa, Cissokho
Victor Ruiz, T Costa
Piatti, Banega, Guardado
Jallet, Alex, Sakho, Maxwell
Lucas Moura, Matuidi, Verratti, Pastore
Valencia coach Ernesto Valverde has no significant injury worries ahead of the visit of Ligue 1 leader Paris Saint-Germain to the Mestalla on Tuesday evening.
The likes of Joao Pereira, Victor Ruiz and Diego Alves should return to the starting lineup, having been named among the substitutes for the 1-0 win over Celta Vigo at the weekend.
Of the players who featured in Valencia's last meeting with PSG in the Emirates Cup back in 2007 in London, only David Albelda and Mamadou Sakho remain - though the latter is the only one of the pair expected to start.
Sakho's defensive partner Thiago Silva is out, as is namesake Thiago Motta with the pair nursing thigh injuries, though the Brazilian missed out the last couple of games through suspension.
Blaise Matuidi, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Christophe Jallet and Ezequiel Lavezzi were all on the bench in Friday's 3-1 win over Bastia, and all should return to the starting 11.
David Beckham will travel to the Mestalla to watch his new teammates in action, but has not been included in the squad. His first fixture is likely to be in the Clasico double-header against Olympique de Marseille in two weeks.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Valencia sits in fifth place in La Liga, two points behind Malaga, but is unbeaten in four games - fixtures which have included Barcelona and Real Madrid.
- Should the hosts pick up victory on Tuesday, it will be the club's 50th in the European Cup/Champions League.
- Los Che have not lost in 17 games out of 18 to Ligue 1 opposition, having beaten PSG's compatriots Lille in the group stage.
- Valencia has not lost a Champions League home game since September 2010 (1-0 vs. Man Utd) - a run of nine fixtures.
- Paris Saint-Germain sits top of Ligue 1, six points clear of Olympique Lyonnais.
- The Parisien club has conceded just one goal on the road in Europe this season, in a 1-0 reverse to FC Porto.
- PSG's record in Spain reads W3 D1 L3. The team lost its last fixture in Spain to Athletic Bilbao in the Europa League.
- PSG has not been this far (with the exception of a second group stage appearance in 2001) since 1994-95 - the year it was also last champions of France.
Top 3 Predictions
Valencia 1-2 PSG
- 16.52 %
Valencia 2-1 PSG
- 12.81 %
Valencia 1-1 PSG
- 10.21 %
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Mar 6, 2013||PSG 1 - Valencia 1|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Feb 12, 2013||Valencia 1 - PSG 2|
|Dec 12, 2013||Valencia 1 - Kuban 1||EL|
|Dec 8, 2013||Gimnastic 0 - Valencia 0||ESPC|
|Dec 1, 2013||Valencia 3 - Osasuna 0||LIGA|
|Nov 28, 2013||Swansea City 0 - Valencia 1||EL|
|Nov 24, 2013||Elche 2 - Valencia 1||LIGA|
|18||Jose Andrés Guardado||Midfielder|
|23||Gregory van der Wiel||Defender|
Times In EDT
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed