Manchester United vs Valencia Preview
|Image from Radio Times|
Another disappointing result for Manchester United this season as they sunk to a 3-1 away defeat to West Ham United. This result means that United now have 10 points from seven games (which is their joint worst start of the season), equalling David Moyes’ record at United in his eight month managerial tenure at Old Trafford. Now, Manchester United return to Old Trafford for a big clash in the Champions League against Valencia and a fixture that they simply cannot afford to lose.
Injuries are no longer a real issue for Manchester United with Marcos Rojo the only doubt for Tuesday’s fixture. The squad selection for the match will definitely be giving the under-pressure Mourinho some severe headaches. De Gea must stay in goal, Young was an outlet for United but got caught out by the pace of Felipe Anderson and Marko Arnautovic, pace that Valencia CF have in abundance with Goncalo Guedes and Rodrigo Moreno. Hopefully, Diogo Dalot will continue his impressive form this season and start for United as right back alongside Smalling, Lindelof and Shaw, who are our strongest backline at the moment. McTominay was culpable for the third goal which ended United’s hope of getting points out of the game and looked out of place at times during the game in a back three, therefore he should be replaced on Tuesday. Martial looked dangerous at times but had no final product whereas Lukaku’s efforts crashed against the post or were saved by Fabianski. Rashford got his goal gloriously and deserves a start against Valencia and one which might kick-start his season. Sanchez and Lingard might return but perhaps just to the bench as the two have had scoring issues despite their equally excellent work ethic.
Valencia might be without Jose Gaya at left back, Cristiano Piccini at right back and Santi Mina up front and so could be weaker in the wide areas, a point that needs targeting tomorrow. Valencia only just ended a seven game winless streak in all competitions (D5 L2) as they beat Real Sociedad away from home and will aim to build on their slim victory with a shock result at Old Trafford. Michy Batshuayi will look to keep up his decent goal record in England with his first goal against Manchester United despite being part of Antonio Conte’s team that eased to a 2016/17 Premier League title. Both Valencia and Manchester United know it is likely to be one of the two that progress along with Juventus into the Round of 16 of the Champions League and the other to be relegated to the Europa League Round of 32 and so a win here is vital for both teams. Hopefully this means that attacking from both sides will light up this famous stadium.
United need to be wary of Valencia’s attacking ability as they completely neglected Sevilla’s and it cost them dearly. Clinical finishing is imperative in a big game like this and either United will bounce back and soar to the occasion or they will continue to falter to another horrendous result. Optimistically, United should have too much for Valencia and put all the troubles of the League and Carabao Cup behind them with an emphatic victory.
Predicted Lineup: De Gea, Dalot, Smalling, Lindelof, Shaw, Matic, Fellaini, Pogba, Martial, Rashford, Lukaku
PREDICTED SCORE: 2-0 to United