Grp E: Genk vs Valencia Preview

Forward Sergio Canales is excited by his impending Champions League debut in a Valencia shirt.

The young playmaker looking for a pass.

The youngster, on loan from Real Madrid at the Mestalla this season, is in contention to start tonight's Group E opener against Belgian side Genk as Unai Emery's side seek a strong start to a first-round campaign during which they also meet Chelsea and Bayer Leverkusen.

Canales is understandably keen to get started.

"I'm eager to begin and we all hope to start with a win," he said in quotes reported by newspaper Marca.

"This year I hope to make an impact and have a good season in the competition. We have not had much time to study Genk, after the league match at the weekend we had a recovery day and we're now looking at this match.

"It's a highly competitive group and you need to focus on getting one win away from home, that's always important.

"The truth is that Leverkusen are doing well but it will be difficult."

Valencia boss Unai Emery could be without right-back Miguel after he went down with illness on the plane to Belgium.

Genk boss Mario Been will need to call on all his experience when the Spanish outfit square off with them at the Cristal Arena.

But the Belgian champions expect to make a fist of their chance on the European stage, with captain David Hubert telling uefa.com: "Until now, we have only come up against stars like this on PlayStation.

"It's wonderful for the team, for the club and for me.

"It's just a dream come true. We might have a chance of finishing third in this group. I will not say we are going for qualification for the last 16, but finishing third would be unbelievable."

Goalkeeper Laszlo Koteles, whose penalty shoot-out heroics helped Genk beat Maccabi Haifa in their play-off, recalled: "It was the first penalty shoot-out of my career.

"The guys came to me and everybody was saying: 'We believe in you. You can do it.' So I knew then that all I had to concentrate on was catching the ball. The national goalkeeping coach in Hungary taught me that. At first I thought it was ridiculous, stupid, but when I tried it, it really worked."



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