Grp E: Valencia vs Chelsea Preview

Valencia boss Unai Emery revealed how Chelsea's Premier League defeat at Manchester United had helped him plot their downfall in Wednesday's Champions League clash.

Drogba coming on...

Valencia will try to become the second team to beat the Blues this season when the sides meet at the Mestalla.

Emery has been studying how United went about doing just that at Old Trafford nine days ago and believes he can mastermind another early setback in the Chelsea career of good friend and fellow thirtysomething Andre Villas-Boas.

"Yes, that game could be used as a reference," said Emery, who watched United beat Chelsea 3-1 despite having half as many attempts on goal.

"Obviously, we play very different football from Manchester United.

"Chelsea make very few mistakes and we have to take our own chances."

He added: "Chelsea have a very specific way to attack and a very specific way to defend.

"They're a very physical team, they're very offensive, very aggressive, they're very experienced and strong.

"We know how difficult it's going to be but we have to keep believing in ourselves and play our football."

Emery was in relaxed mood on Tuesday about the prospect of taking on the team he described as group favourites, even answering a phone call during his press conference and joking: "It was Villas-Boas!

"We have to make a deal so Chelsea and Valencia can go through to the next round."

But the 39-year-old proved he was taking Wednesday's match very seriously indeed when he refused to reveal his injury news, saying: "It's a surprise."

Chelsea and Valencia are favourites to progress from Group E but while the former started their campaign with a 2-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen, the latter could only manage a goalless draw at Genk.

Emery said: "Tomorrow [Wednesday] is a very important game and we have to win it.

"We know how difficult it's going to be because Chelsea are the favourites for the group.

"But if we keep on playing our football and playing our best, we can win this game, especially at home and with the support of the fans."

Valencia have already proved capable of causing an upset this season by coming within minutes of beating Barcelona in La Liga, but they come into Wednesday's game on the back of a defeat at Sevilla.

"After the game against Barcelona, everybody was saying how great this team was," Emery said.

"When you play a good game, you're the best team in the world.

"A bad game and you're in crisis."

The same could be said of Chelsea striker Fernando Torres, who is expected to start on Wednesday after the latest turbulent week of his topsy-turvy Stamford Bridge career.

"Tomorrow [Wednesday], we have to be extremely careful with him," said Emery, who shrugged off the prospect of the returning Juan Mata coming back to haunt his side barely a month after joining Chelsea for £23.5million.

"I'm not really going to be thinking about Mata because Chelsea have a lot of important players.

"We're really capable of winning this game and we hope we enjoy it.

"I'm not going to be especially concerned about Mata."

Mata and his Chelsea team-mates have hardly had the ideal build-up to the game after being forced to change planes for their flight to Valencia, leading to a three-hour delay.

Villas-Boas will not care a jot provided they win on Wednesday night and take a big step towards the Champions League knockout stage.

But Villas-Boas was taking nothing for granted against Emery's team .

He said: "I don't like being favourite in any games because that only implies big surprises in the end.

"Tomorrow's [Wednesday] game will be extremely difficult because I know how difficult Valencia are.

"I'm very impressed by the way Valencia play football and the way Unai motivates his players.

"I hope that one day he can come to England and manage a team in the Premier League."



comments powered by Disqus

Most Popular News

News & Update