UEFA Champions League 2013: Valencia v PSG Preview
Defender Antonio Barragán is suspended for the home side, but Roberto Soldado returns from a ban. Sofiane Feghouli could also feature after his stint at the African Cup of Nations. But full-back Aly Cissokho misses out with a sprained right ankle and Jérémy Mathieu has an Achilles injury.
David Beckham will watch the match as he tries to regain sharpness for his debut. Silva and Motta are out of contention with thigh injuries, but Mamadou Sakho could play after the birth of his daughter Aida on Monday.
Ernesto Valderde (Valencia): “What we want is to get through this tie, even though they are the favourites, and go into the quarter-finals. We won’t settle for just giving a good show of ourselves. We aren’t here to look good in defeat. We compete to win. They are a club who are pushing to become one of the biggest in Europe, but that doesn’t mean anything. Over 180 minutes we will see what happens. I don’t care that they are favourites. The key is in the game.”
Carlo Ancelotti (PSG): “We have a lot of players with speed. But our goal is to play football, not just to play on the counter attack. I think this will be a good test for us to evaluate the capacity we have to play our football and not just on the counter but with possession of the ball.”
This is the first ever competitive meeting between Valencia and PSG.
Valencia have won all six of their encounters with French clubs in the Champions League (since 1992/93).
Nantes are the only French club to beat Valencia in European competition over 90 minutes. It was back in April 1980 in the Cup Winners’ Cup semi-finals. Since then, Valencia have won 13 and drawn four of their competitive encounters with French clubs.
No French club has ever kept a clean sheet against Valencia in European competition.
Valencia are unbeaten in their last nine games at the Mestalla in the Champions League (six wins, three draws), scoring 28 goals during that run.
PSG hadn’t reached the knockout stages of the Champions League since 1994/95.
PSG have won their last four Champions League games, the best run currently.
PSG have conceded at least two goals in six of their last seven competitive games against Spanish sides.
PSG have lost only two of their last six competitive away games in Spain, winning three (against Real Madrid, Deportivo La Coruna and Sevilla) and drawing one.
PSG had the best defensive record in the Champions League group stages this season, conceding only three goals in six games.
All 14 of PSG’s goals in the Champions League this season have been scored from inside the box.
Valencia benefited from the most penalties in the Champions League group stages this season (3). They have converted all of them.
Roberto Soldado has scored 14 goals in his last 14 Champions League starts.
Jonas has netted three goals in two starts at the Mestalla in the Champions League this season.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the top assist provider in the Champions League this season (5).
Ibrahimovic has only scored four goals in 27 games in the knockout stages of the Champions League.
Valencia 5/4 Paris Saint-Germain 4/7