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Manchester United v Valencia: Preview
Published : 07 Dec 2010 13:57:29
Valencia coach Unai Emery expects David Silva to be at Old Trafford on
Tuesday night to cheer on his old club in their Champions League clash
with Manchester United.
Silva joined Manchester City for £24million in the summer after spending a decade at the Mestalla, having joined Valencia as a 14-year-old.
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Clearly, such service has created a deep passion within Silva and, as City are not in action this week, Emery said his side will have the backing of a very famous fan as they look to oust United from top spot in Group C.
"David will probably call to see us at some point and I think he is going to be at the game." confirmed Emery.
Silva was one of two high-profile summer departures from the cash-strapped Primera Division outfit as World Cup hero David Villa also left for Barcelona.
Yet Valencia have overcome the twin loss to claim a place in the last 16 with a match to spare.
Indeed, as they cannot be pitted against either Barcelona or Real Madrid in the seeded first knock-out round draw, it could be argued that Valencia do not have the same incentive to win as United, given Sir Alex Ferguson is so anxious to avoid that heavyweight duo. It is a theory Emery disagrees with.
"At the start of the Champions League we had two aims," Emery revealed.
"First, we wanted to qualify, which we have achieved. Secondly, we wanted to win the group. There are many reasons for doing that. For us it is not about wanting to avoid certain opponents.
"We want to show to the rest of Europe that we can produce a top performance at a big club. There are so many good teams in this competition. We want to get a result that will make other teams take notice of us and stand us in good stead for the remainder of the tournament."
United boss Ferguson is demanding top spot in order to create an easier path in the knockout stages.
Certainly, Ferguson did not need reminding of Barcelona's power in their five-goal demolition of Real last week and confirmation that the Catalan giants are responsible for all three men on the short list for the prestigious Ballon D'Or merely emphasises they will be the team to beat this year.
"If you get Barcelona on one of their good days they can do that to anyone," said Ferguson.
"It was a marvellous performance but even before the Champions League started they would have been one of the favourites.
"Like everyone else, they have days when they can be beaten but the sensible approach is to avoid the bigger hitters and we can only do that if we do finish first in our group."