Manchester United play Valencia in the Mestalla on Wednesday evening in the Champions League. The Spanish side top their Champions League group with 3 points, Manchester Untied and Rangers each have 1 and Bursaspor, the Turkish team, have 0. Valencia comfortably defeated Bursaspor in Turkey whilst Rangers and Manchester Untied shared the spoils after a goalless draw in Manchester. The game has a sense of significance for Manchester United and they will arrive in Spain with a sense of pressure on their backs. The red devils have yet to win an away game yet this season (excusing the 5-2 defeat of Scunthorpe in the Carling Cup). Manchester United have drawn with Fulham, Everton and Bolton in their 3 away matches so far.
Against Fulham the team conceded a late equaliser. Against Everton Manchester United conceded two equalisers in injury time. Against Bolton Manchester United rarely threatened to get ahead in the match and in fact they had to come back from a goal behind twice. Wayne Rooney’s poor form this season has been a large part of the reason why the team has struggled to achieve results away from home. He has scored just one goal for his club, a penalty, and another for his country, against Switzerland. His contribution has, for the most part, been disappointing. Previously, even if Rooney did not offer a great goal threat he at least compensated for that failure in his game by offering creativity and work rate but this season even that has not been apparent. Against Liverpool, when Manchester United won 3-2 courtesy of a Dmitar Berbatov hat trick, Wayne Rooney was anonymous. Against Bolton on Sunday he again failed to deliver as expected. Now It has been decided he will not travel to Valencia with the team.
The official reason cited is an ankle injury but speculation persists that he has in fact been dropped because of his poor form. Sir Alex Ferguson has always been protective of his players in the public limelight so it is unlikely to emerge that the club is disatisfied with his form and the official story, that his absence is because of injury, is set to persist. Expectations are that Wayne Rooney will return to the starting line up for the weekend match against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light. In Valencia Manchester United are expected to start the match with Michael Owen and Dimitar Berbatov in attack. Should it not be Michael Owen that partners Dimitar Berbatov in attack then Javier Hernandez, commonly known as chicharito, is expected to start.