Madrid, Oct 1 (IANS) Valencia entertain Lille in the Champions League play-off Tuesday night, knowing a win is vital for their hopes of making it out of the group stage of the competition.
Valencia manager Mauricio Pellegrini's side will take heart from an improved performance Saturday which saw them secure a convincing 2-0 win at home against Zaragoza in the La League, reports Xinhua.
That win helped clear doubts over a poor start to Pellegrini's time as coach, although it should be pointed out that Valencia had played away against Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
The 1-2 defeat in Munich means Valencia have yet to open their account in Europe and with home matches against Lille and Bate Borisov to come, Valencia now have the chance to get points on the board in Europe.
Pellegrino will be without influential midfielders David Albelda and Ever Banega, who is nearing the end of his recovery from a broken leg. Sergio Canales is another long term absentee after undergoing an knee operation.
Right-back Joao Perreira is also a major doubt after going-off injured against Zaragoza and David Barragan is likely to step into the side should he fail to recover.
Vicente Guaita returned in goal at the weekend and his assured display should be enough to keep him in the side ahead of the agile but sometimes erratic Diego Alves, while Tino Costa will be given the job of pulling the strings in the Valencia midfield alongside either Fernando Gago, who looks to have recovered from his neck injury, or Dani Parejo.
Lille were defeated 2-0 in Rennes Friday, but have enjoyed an extra 24-hours rest.