By 90Min
October 01, 2018

The return of the Champions League. Probably not what Manchester United, nor Jose Mourinho need right now, but that's exactly what they're going to get when Valencia visit Old Trafford on Tuesday night.

Both sides have endured a torrid start to the season, with the Red Devils, fresh off the back of a 3-1 defeat to West Ham at the weekend, in particular disarray.

Speculation over Mourinho's future, his seemingly irreparable relationship with star midfielder Paul Pogba, and a string of dismal performances have led United down a pretty sticky path so far - but there may be light at the end of the tunnel with Valencia's arrival in Manchester.

Els Taronges won their first La Liga game of the season - a 1-0 win over Real Sociedad on Saturday - at the seventh time of asking this past weekend, but find themselves hovering just three points above the relegation zone.

With both sides feeling pretty flat and low on confidence, it's likely to be a tight and nervy affair - here's everything you need to know ahead of the game.

When? Tuesday 02 October @ 8.00pm (BST)
Where? Old Trafford
How Can I Watch It? BT Sport 2
How Can I Watch It Outside UK? Sky Sports Gillette Soccer Special/BT Sport Score

Classic Encounter

Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

These two teams have clashed eight times across European competition, with their last couple of meetings coming during the group stages of the 2010/11 competition.

It's a trip back to 1999 though for this edition of classic encounters, and a clash at Old Trafford which the Red Devils will remember fondly. Sir Alex Ferguson's side would romp to a comfortable 3-0 success, with proceedings kicked off in impressive fashion by skipper Roy Keane.

The Irishman rifled a superb low drive into the bottom corner after Gary Neville's long aerial delivery had only been partially cleared, before Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's predatory finish doubled the lead. Paul Scholes added the third and final goal with twenty minutes to go, glancing a delicate header into the top corner from Beckham's cracking in-swinging set piece.

Recent Form


As alluded to in the introduction, it's been a shocking start to the season for both teams. It's Manchester United who come up trumps in terms of overall turmoil though, with their recent performances leaving a lot to be desired.

The 3-1 defeat to West Ham at the London Stadium on Saturday was the latest chapter in a catalogue of catastrophes that have now seen United lose three of their opening seven Premier League games -  as well as sliding to a shock defeat on penalties to Derby in the Carabao Cup.

They do come into this Champions League clash with a 100% record though, having got off to a winning start against Young Boys a couple of weeks ago.


Valencia meanwhile have won only once in seven league matches, but perhaps crucially have only lost once also - drawing their remaining games. 

They also lost their opening Champions League group game against Juventus 2-0, with a pair of Miralem Pjanic penalties sealing their fate at the Mestalla two weeks ago.

Team News

Manchester United: Predicting Jose Mourinho's team selection is often a difficult task. It's probably not an exaggeration to say it's almost an impossible job now - but we'll give it a go anyway.

Only Sergio Romero (knee) is officially unavailable through injury, though Ashley Young, Ander Herrera, Jesse Lingard and Marcos Rojo all missed training on Monday morning. 


Alexis Sanchez could miss out once more after being dropped from the matchday squad against West Ham, while the much maligned Paul Pogba could also be shunted out of the side after being substituted with 20 minutes to go on Saturday.

Juan Mata and Marcus Rashford could return to the starting lineup after only finding themselves among the United substitutes on Saturday.

Valencia: The visitors made eight changes at the weekend for their win over Real Sociedad, crucially resting their most high profile players Rodrigo, Goncalo Guedes and Ezequiel Garay.

All three are expected to return to the lineup this Tuesday, and their starting XI could also include former Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin - with the Frenchman likely to relish his chance to take on one of the Gunners biggest rivals once more.

Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Chelsea loanee Michy Batshuayi will likely settle for a place on the bench, with Kevin Gameiro getting the nod up front alongside Rodrigo.

Predicted Lineups

Manchester United (4-3-3) De Gea, Valencia, Smalling, Lindelof, Shaw, Fred, Matic, Fellaini, Mata, Rashford, Lukaku

Valencia (4-4-2) Neto, Piccini, Garay, Murillo, Gaya, Wass, Soler, Coquelin, Guedes, Gameiro, Rodrigo


The whole footballing world will be watching this one, and Jose Mourinho's side will surely be feeling the pressure. 

United desperately need a win, though the notion that they will actually attack still seems like an alien concept. Valencia will relish the challenge despite their poor form and will no doubt feel that a point is up for grabs at the very least. 


That thought could be their undoing however, and despite United being thoroughly miserable all over the pitch so far, you get the feeling that they'll get through this game - by hook or by crook.

Prediction: Manchester United 3-1 Valencia

You May Like

Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)