Manchester United v Valencia

Date: August 12, 2014
Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester, England
Kick-off time: 19:30 BST

Manchester United will end their preparations for the new season with a friendly match against Valencia on Tuesday before the Premier League season kicks off on Saturday.

While United are looking to regain their status as the best team in England this season after a poor 2013/14, Valencia will be looking to get into the Champions League next season. This match is expected to be crucial for both teams as they experiment with different players, tactics and formations ahead of the all-important season opener at the weekend.

Manchester United’s form

W-W-W-W-W

Manchester United are in great form heading into this final pre-season friendly at Old Trafford. The Manchester giants opened their pre-season with a 7-0 hammering of LA Galaxy on their US pre-season tour before defeating the likes of Roma, Inter Milan (on penalties), Real Madrid, and old rivals Liverpool.

The Red Devils have enjoyed somewhat of a resurgence this season after the arrival of former Netherlands head coach Louis Van Gaal. The fans will want to see their team performing well with the team set to feature at their home stadium for the very first time this season.

Valencia’s form

L-D-W

Valencia have played only three pre-season games ahead of this match on Tuesday. The Spanish side had lost their first pre-season game of the season quite comprehensively against German side FC Nurnberg. However, they made a comeback of sorts when they drew against AS Monaco 2-2 at the Emirates Cup.

In the same competition which is hosted by Arsenal Football Club, Valencia ran out 3-1 winners against Portuguese giants SL Benfica with a couple of their most important players getting their names on the score-sheet.

Key Players

Manchester United: Juan Mata

The costliest player that United have ever bought will have a point to prove this season after failing to light things up post his January transfer to the club. Back in his favoured position behind the two strikers and plenty of players to protect the midfield, expect the Spaniard to be back in his elements this term.

Valencia: Pablo Piatti

The Argentine has endeared himself to the club’s fans since his arrival at the club. Piatti has been a bright spot for Valencia when the club have gone through some tough times. He is a class act and expect him to show just that when he runs out at the theater of dreams on Tuesday.

Betting Advice

Although Manchester United have toppled every opponent this pre-season, one cannot be sure about the result on Tuesday. The Reds Devils will have to deal with the pressure of having to perform in front of their home fans as well and instead of going for the result, I will be looking for less than 2.5 goals to be scored in this game – for which Paddy Power are offering 2.5. These are excellent odds given I sense that united could be looking to defend hard for a change here.