Lille – Valencia : Champions League Preview

Nelson Valdez - Valencia CF

Lille could welcome back striker Ryan Mendes from an ankle injury for Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Valencia at the Grand Stade Lille Metropole.

Fellow attacker Tulio de Melo is sidelined with a hamstring problem, while defender Djibril Sidibe and midfielder Benoit Pedretti are suspended.

With Lille guaranteed to finish bottom of Group F, boss Rudi Garcia is likely to make several changes to the side that played out a goalless draw with Bastia on Saturday.

Valencia, meanwhile, are without injured duo Sergio Canales and Jeremy Mathieu, while Antonio Barragan and Roberto Soldado serve suspensions.

Newly-appointed coach Ernesto Valverde is expected to watch his team from the stands, with caretaker boss Salvador Gonzalez taking charge from the touchline.

Facts and Stats:

  • Lille┬áare on a three-match winless run in Ligue 1 and have failed to register on the scoresheet in that sequence.
  • Les Dogues┬áhave never lost to Spanish opposition at home in five outings (W2, D3).
  • Lille have received 17 yellow cards in the Champions League this season, more than any other club.
  • Valencia┬áhave won just two of their last six matches in all competitions.
  • The Mestalla club are on a 16-match unbeaten run against French teams since losing the first leg of the 1979-80 European Cup Winners’ Cup semi-final against Nantes.
  • To top Group F, Valencia must better Bayern Munich’s result against BATE Borisov in the other group match. A Bayern win will see the Bundesliga side through as group winners regardless of the outcome in northern France.

PROBABLE LINEUPS

Lille: Elana; Debuchy, Basa, Rozehnal, Beria;Balmont, Gueye, Martin; Kalou, Roux, Rodelin

Valencia: Alves;Pereira, Rami, R Costa, Cissokho; Gago, T Costa; Feghouli, Banega, Guardado; Valdez