Valencia coach Quique Sánchez Flores is looking for his side to regain some of their composure when they face a Shakhtar Donetsk side who have not won in their last seven Champions League away matches.
Valencia were beaten 3-2 at Celta Vigo at the weekend and Sánchez Flores is looking for his side to bounce back from that setback.
“We deserve the favourites’ tag but we have to live up to expectations,” he stated.
“I think victory would pretty much guarantee our progress and we are certainly strong enough to impose ourselves on Shakhtar. We must return to good habits though, and work hard in order to register that victory because we were not ourselves at the weekend.”
“I’ve warned my players that I want a return to careful, composed and disciplined possession play,” he said. “I don’t want open, end-to-end games which can be won or lost on a moment of luck. The fans may like that kind of game but I don’t.”
Vicente Rodríguez misses out with a sprained ankle while Sánchez Flores is reported to be contemplating resting Roberto Ayala and David Villa.
Shakhtar coach Mircea Lucescu believes that whatever Valencia team plays, it will provide a stiff test for his men.
“They are powerful, they have superb players on the bench and in my opinion Valencia are potential finalists and perhaps even winners of the Champions League,” said the Romanian. “We have a very young side and this is like an apprenticeship at the moment.”
Lucescu, who is without key creative forces Zvonimir Vuki? and Elano Blumer, refuses to be downbeat about the game.
“In our defeat against Roma we kept them at bay for the majority of the match and a similar display of concentration here will suit me,” he said.
“I think Valencia are the best team in Spain with the single exception of last Sunday’s game. Then I saw a totally different side to the one that played so well in Athens and then beat Roma.”
Probable teams?Valencia:?Santiago Cañizares; Luis Miguel, David Navarro, Raúl Albiol, Emiliano Moretti; Joaquín Sánchez, David Albelda, Edu, Jaime Gavilán; Fernando Morientes, David Silva.
Shakhtar:?Stipe Pletikosa; Viacheslav Sviderskiy, Dmytro Chygrynskiy, Mariusz Lewandowski, Ravzan Rat; Fernandinho, Tomáš Hübschman, Anatoliy Tymoschuk, Matuzalem; Ciprian Marica, Brandão.
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