BERN, SWITZERLAND - SEPTEMBER 19:  Paul Pogba of Manchester United celebrates after scoring his team`s first goal with team mates during the UEFA Champions League Group H match between BSC Young Boys and Manchester United at Stade de Suisse, Wankdorf on September 19, 2018 in Bern, Switzerland. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)

4 Key Battles That Could Decide Man Utd's Champions League Tie With Valencia on Tuesday

Manchester United take on Valencia on Tuesday night, hoping success in their Champions League campaign can reinvigorate their ailing domestic fortunes.


Jose Mourinho's men are in free-fall both on and off the pitch, with a cloud of uncertainty surrounding the futures of Mourinho, and star midfielder Paul Pogba. It's imperative for the Red Devils to lighten the souring mood with victory, but Valencia will provide a stern test despite their own poor start to the season.


Here are four key battles to keep an eye out for on Tuesday.

4. Marouane Fellaini vs. Francis Coquelin

Who would have thought that these two former Premier League foes would be going head-to-head in the Champions League?


It seems like that pipe dream may well become a reality come kick off, with former Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin now found patrolling the centre of Valencia's midfield. Marouane Fellaini meanwhile seems to have found favour under Jose Mourinho, and with the many struggles of his teammates well documented, he is likely to start once more.


Fellaini will drift forward and support Romelu Lukaku in central positions - with Coquelin likely to be tasked with shepherding the big Belgian to safety. Things could get a bit feisty between those two given Coquelin's association with Arsenal - and whoever has more influence could hold the key to which way this one goes.

3. Victor Lindelof vs. Rodrigo

We'll break this battle down very simply to avoid a whole lot of fuss. 


Rodrigo is a very, very good forward - technically brilliant and with a sharp eye for goal. Victor Lindelof on the other hand is continuing to have an Old Trafford nightmare, and it seems that everything he does (or doesn't do) leads to bad things.


Keeping the shackles on Rodrigo will be fundamental to United winning this game - and United  fans will be nervy knowing that Lindelof is likely to be the man tasked with stopping him.

2. Romelu Lukaku vs. Ezequiel Garay

If United are going to win on Tuesday night, they'll need striker Romelu Lukaku to put in another imposing physical performance up top.


The Belgian scored five goals in eight Champions League games last season, and his eye for goal will be need to be razor sharp as United look to overcome their recent troubles. Marcus Rashford is likely to provide support, but it will be Lukaku who is the focal point of any good work United do.


Trying to keep him tamed will likely be Argentine central defender Ezequiel Garay. The 31-year-old is now in his second season at the Mestalla, but brings a wealth of experience at the top level to the party. The two might play a bit of rough and tumble, but Garay will be up for the fight.

1. Jose Mourinho vs. Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho vs Jose Mourinho? Yep, you read that right.


The biggest battle of the night will be Mourinho trying to keep himself in the right frame of mind, managing within his usual principles instead of on instinct. It feels as if the two time Champions League winning boss is on the way to a meltdown of epic proportions, and keeping his cool is essential - or this game could spell the end of his tenure at Old Trafford.


Quick to pass the buck when the chips are down, it's time for Mourinho to turn over a new leaf, step up to the plate and win this battle of nerve.