Valencia v Genk preview
Emery's side search for win to help them reach knockout stages
By Simon Porter. Last Updated: November 23, 2011 11:39am
Pablo Hernandez: Ready for challenge
Valencia head into their UEFA Champions League match against Genk in search of win in an effort to get through to the last 16 of the competition and work their way out of a very tight group.
The Primera Division side are currently third in Group E on five points, three points behind Group leaders Chelsea and one point below Bayer Leverkusen, who also play each other on Wednesday night.
If Chelsea and Valencia were to both win, then the Blues would progress from the group while Los Che would need a draw from the final fixture between the two at Stamford Bridge next month to knock Leverkusen out of the competition.
Unai Emery's team got knocked out of the last 16 last season by German team Schalke but despite this the Valencia coach's ambitions are not to move out of the group stage but to try and win the competition.
Els Taronja midfielder Pablo Hernandez told uefa.com: "We would like to improve on last year. We know it is difficult to win the Champions League because there are great teams involved but you have to dream.
"If you abandon your dreams and settle for a little then you will never achieve all you can. You have to fight hard," Hernandez said.
Valencia are third in the Primera Division at the moment just behind Real Madrid and Barcelona, a fantastic accomplishment after losing such talented players as David Silva, David Villa and Juan Mata in recent times.
Hernandez has nothing but praise for his boss claiming that he is a very dedicated coach who has done a very respectable job at the club since his arrival.
"He works well; he's a very hard-working coach and nobody can criticise him," said Hernandez.
On the other hand Genk are sitting bottom in Group E with just two points from four games with a slim chance of progressing. Their two points however, came from impressive draws with Valencia and Chelsea.
Genk boss Mario Been claims that his team will relish the chance of playing Los Che before they face Bayer Leverkusen in their final game, telling krcgenk.be: "If we lose it's over, we know.
"We still have a beautiful home game against Leverkusen too but we cannot travel to Valencia with that thought. They are a very good footballing team and (Roberto) Soldado is dangerous.
"They had a tough match against Real Madrid last weekend. But we have to enjoy these games - beforehand, these are the teams that will continue in the Champions League but you never know."
For Valencia, goalkeeper Diego Alves will play due to Vicente Guaita nursing an injury.
Emery's biggest worry will likely be his weakened midfield area with Argentine Ever Banega out for the remainder of the group stage with ligament problems and Sergio Canales also missing due to a similar injury.
Los Che's Dutch defender Hedwiges Maduro will also miss the clash against Genk due to an ankle problem which looks likely to keep him out until February.
Genk's Abel Masuero has been out since late October when he suffered a calf muscle injury and is unlikely to return on Wednesday. David Hubert and Jeroen Simaeys are both likely to be sidelined for over a month and will not be able to play in the upcoming fixture.
Been's Torben Joneleit could be out of action until April with torn knee ligaments which he received whilst playing against KV Mechelen in August.
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UEFA Champions League
Wed 23rd Nov - Group G
Zenit0 - 0Apoel Nicosia
Shak Donetsk0 - 2FC Porto
Wed 23rd Nov - Group H
BATE Borisov0 - 1Plzen
AC Milan2 - 3Barcelona
Wed 23rd Nov - Group E
Leverkusen2 - 1Chelsea
Valencia7 - 0Genk
Wed 23rd Nov - Group F
Marseille0 - 1Olympiakos
Arsenal2 - 1B Dortmund
UEFA Champions League Group A
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UEFA Champions League Group B
UEFA Champions League Group C
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UEFA Champions League Group D
UEFA Champions League Group E
UEFA Champions League Group F
UEFA Champions League Group G
UEFA Champions League Group H