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Champion League 03/Oct Match Preview


Champion League 03/Oct

00:55 Hoffenheim vs Man City +95 +1.5 -99

03:00 Man Utd vs Valencia -98 -0.75 +94

Hoffenheim v Manchester City preview: Pep Guardiola looking for response

Manchester City will be aiming to bounce back from their opening Champions League defeat when they travel to play Hoffenheim on Tuesday (kick-off 5.55pm BST).

Pep Guardiola’s side suffered an opening-week defeat to Lyon, which has increased the pressure for this encounter in Germany.

City, who strolled past Brighton 2-0 on Saturday, are unbeaten in their last five Champions League games against German opponents (W4 D1) since a 1-0 defeat to Bayern Munich in 2014 when Guardiola was in charge of the Bundesliga side.

Guardiola admits the pressure is on his side to deliver in this competition.

“In the Champions League we don’t have time to lose a lot of games and we lost the first one,” Guardiola said. “We have five finals and tomorrow is the first one.”

Winning the Champions League is a long-term ambition of the club but they fell to Liverpool at the quarter-final stage last season and captain Vincent Kompany expects the competition to prove just as difficult this term.

Kompany said: “I’d love to win a European trophy with City but it’s such a tough competition to win. Across Europe there are about eight teams with just as much of a claim.

“We’ve got to deal with the fact we lost to Lyon. We’ll worry about Hoffenheim first and if we get momentum anything is possible.”

Team news

Sergio Aguero is expected to be fit for Manchester City.

The Argentina striker played just over an hour against Brighton on Saturday because of the foot problem that has hampered him in recent games but he has trained and was fit to travel.

Benjamin Mendy (foot) is still missing and usual deputy at left-back, Fabian Delph, also has a knock, meaning Oleksandr Zinchenko is again likely to feature.

Kevin De Bruyne (knee) is back in training but not yet ready to return while goalkeeper Claudio Bravo (Achilles) is out long term.

Opta stats

  • This will be the first ever meeting in any competition between Germans TSG 1899 Hoffenheim and English side Manchester City.

  • In Hoffenheim’s only previous meeting with English opponents, they lost 6-3 on aggregate to Liverpool in the 2017/18 Champions League qualifying play-off round.

  • Hoffenheim have won just one of their previous nine matches in European competition (D3 L5), beating Istanbul Basaksehir in last season’s Europa League.

  • Manchester City have conceded 2+ goals in each of their last four Champions League games; they last conceded at least two goals in five consecutive matches back in March 2014.

  • Manchester City manager Guardiola met Hoffenheim six times whilst manager of Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga; he won five and lost none of those meetings (D1), scoring 2+ goals on each occasion.

  • Manchester City coach Guardiola has lost five of his last six Champions League games as manager (W1), as many as he lost in his previous 28 combined (W18 D5 L5).

  • Hoffenheim’s Florian Grillitsch is looking to become the first ever Austrian player to score in his first two Champions League appearances.

  • Manchester City’s Aguero has had a hand in more Champions League goals for the Citizens than any other player (32 – 26 goals, 6 assists). Aguero both scored and assisted in his last CL away game vs Basel in February 2018.

Manchester United v Valencia preview: Ashley Young, Jesse Lingard ruled out

Jose Mourinho will be hoping to get Manchester United back on a positive footing against Valencia on Tuesday (kick-off 8pm), after a turbulent week for the manager.

United have made their worst start to a league season for 29 years and the pressure on Mourinho intensified following a limp 3-1 defeat at West Ham United.

In addition to the 3-1 reverse at the London Stadium, United have lost to Brighton and Tottenham and were knocked out of the Carabao Cup by Derby on penalties.

However, United are top of Group H in the Champions League after beating Young Boys in their opening match and Mourinho thinks a return to European competition can help the confidence of his team.

“A Champions League week is always a good week, even if you expect a difficult match, a difficult opponent,” Mourinho said.

“Everyone wants to play Champions League, not everyone can do it. So we are here and we have the chance to play a big match. So, big match, big week.”

Meanwhile, Valencia have also found life tough domestically this season.

They picked up their first win of the season at Real Sociedad on Saturday after drawing five of their first six La Liga matches.

Marcelino’s men are third in the group after losing 2-0 at home against Juventus.

Team news

Jesse Lingard, Ashley Young, Ander Herrera and Marcos Rojo all are unavailable for Manchester United with injury.

Young started the defeat to West Ham while Herrera and Lingard did not feature and Rojo has a long-term injury problem.

Jose Gaya is back in training for Valencia after missing the weekend victory with injury but Santi Mina and Ferran Torres remain absentees.

Kevin Gameiro found the net on Saturday and he’s likely to partner on-loan Chelsea man Michy Batshuayi up front.

Opta stats

  • Manchester United have lost only once in eight previous meetings with Valencia in all competitions (W2 D5), and never in the Champions League (P6 W2 D4 L0), with this their first encounter in this competition since December 2010, a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford.

  • Against no other side have Manchester United faced in the Champions League more often than Valencia without ever losing (six games, level with Bayer 04 Leverkusen and CSKA Moscow).

  • Valencia have only won once in 10 visits to English sides in the Champions League (D6 L3), a 1-0 win over Liverpool at Anfield in October 2002.

  • Manchester United have not lost back-to-back home Champions League games since March 2013 when Alex Ferguson was in charge.

  • Manchester United have lost just one of their last 18 Champions League group stage games at Old Trafford (W12 D5), a 1-0 defeat to CFR Cluj in December 2012. They have won eight of their last nine such games since that defeat (D1).

  • Valencia have lost each of their last four Champions League games, their worst ever streak in the competition. Only two Spanish clubs have ever lost 5+ consecutive games in the history of the competition – Real Sociedad (five in October 2013) and Villarreal (seven in December 2011).

  • Just one of Valencia’s last 17 Champions League group stage games has ended in a draw (W8 D1 L8), a 1-1 stalemate against Bayern Munich in November 2012.

  • Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba scored as many goals in the opening game of this season’s Champions League against BSC Young Boys (2) as he did in his previous 37 matches in the competition combined.

  • Pogba has been directly involved in four of Manchester United’s last six Champions League goals (two goals, two assists), including all three this season (two goals, one assist).

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