Champions League

Valencia minus Otamendi to face Monaco

2015-08-18 10:49
Nicolas Otamendi (File)

Madrid - Valencia will have to cope without Argentine international Nicolas Otamendi as they attempt to move a step closer to ending a three-year absence from Champions League group action when they host Monaco on Wednesday.

Otamendi is expected to complete a lucrative move to Manchester City in the coming days, the timing of which is far from ideal for Nuno Espirito Santo's men as they prepare for two games against last season's quarter-finalists that could make or break their season.

"We are concentrated on the game against Monaco. What happens with Otamendi is out of our control," Valencia defender Antonio Barragan admitted on Monday.

"We need to go through. It hasn't crossed our minds we won't go through the qualifier."

Otamendi's departure is the latest episode of an unsettling summer for Valencia which was compounded by drawing the toughest opponents they could have faced at this stage in Monaco.

Hampered by financial fair play regulations and a number of compulsory purchase agreements on loan deals agreed for players last summer, Nuno hasn't been able to significantly improve the squad that pipped Sevilla to a top four finish on the final day of the La Liga season.

Australian international Matthew Ryan is expected to make his debut in goal for the Spaniards with Diego Alves ruled out for the rest of the year due to cruciate ligament damage.

Santi Mina and Zakaria Bakkali could also make their competitive bows, but both are likely to start on the bench.


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