|Juan Mata to Score Anytime||4/1||Bet365|
|Away Win with Under 2.5 Goals||9/2||Ladbrokes|
Manchester United returned to winning ways last weekend with their thumping of Fulham in the Premier League, while Valencia drew valiantly to second-placed Sevilla in La Liga.
Although Group H is decided in terms of who is going through to the knockout rounds in 2019, José Mourinho will want to do everything he can to top the group, which means he has to go to the Mestalla Stadium in search of the three points.
Marcelino’s men have had a similarly difficult season domestically so far, sitting in 15th place, only seven points above the relegation zone.
They started brightly in Europe, but have since faded away and will drop down into the Europa League after the conclusion of this game.
This might not seem to be an important match, but both managers need to find consistency in their players and United’s players know that a chance to finish top of the group is up for grabs.
The Red Devils have not been as prolific in front of goal as some would expect given the players they have brought in under Mourinho and have struggled, this season, to create chances.
Valencia, too, have found it increasingly difficult to find the back of the net, only striking a league low of 12 goals and four in the Champions League.
Los Che simply lack a striker that they can rely on to score the goals for them as Gonçalo Guedes, who was emphatic for Valencia last season, has failed to find his best form this term.
In seven of Marcelino’s last eight games in charge of European games, he has seen under 2.5 goals scored and Los Che have famously found it difficult to score against United, having seen under 2.5 goals in seven of their last eight encounters with the English giants.
This game looks destined to be a low-scoring affair with a combative midfield tussle and scarce chances between them. Bet365 have priced there to be under 2.5 goals scored in the 90 minutes at 10/11.
With the pressure of qualification off the players’ shoulders coming into this game, as well as some much-needed confidence after beating Fulham, Mourinho’s men might just arrive with their heads held high and play an attacking brand of football.
Valencia are in the gutter in terms of their performances this season and one positive result against Sevilla does not change the fact that they are in poor form. It might be taking place in the vibrant Mestalla Stadium, but United’s European results suggest they are not afraid of taking on any team away from home.
Mourinho’s best result this season came against Juventus in Turin last month, making history by becoming the first team since 2007 to win at the Allianz Stadium in Europe.
It was a masterfully managed game by the Portuguese coach and one that gives hope to the United fans that he can replicate further along in the competition.
The Red Devils have notoriously struggled in Spain on previous occasions, but they are undefeated in their last nine matches against Valencia in all competitions - a record that United fans expect to see upheld.
Manchester United have also kept three clean sheets against Valencia in their last three away matches, indicating that they take comfort when tasked with nullifying their Spanish opposition.
Manchester United always look better with Juan Mata in the team, and the Spaniard showed his brilliance once again with his performance against Fulham.
Scoring one and assisting another, Mata took his Premier League record to 50 goals and 50 assists in 150 appearances for both Chelsea and United.
The attacking midfielder is an artistic player that gets the best out of his teammates and needs to be trusted by Mourinho on a more regular basis, especially playing just behind the centre forward.
Mata will want to play at the Mestalla Stadium once again, just as he had for four years prior to joining Chelsea. The Spaniard is in good form heading into this match and will be tasked with unlocking Valencia’s defence for United’s forwards to have chances on goal.
If Mata can play as the central number 10, then the Red Devils stand a far better chance of playing in the right areas of the pitch and pinning Valencia back inside their own box. As shown against Fulham, when Mata is on the ball, he becomes a magician with the passes he makes and angles he creates.