Valencia fans are still smarting from the loss of Juan Mata to us, the draw brings him back after just a month, this time not as a protector but a tormentor. It is going to be a very emotional match, one where I hope Mata shines.
He is a professional, but I am afraid that building the game around him will be a mistake, he has said he will not celebrate a goal against them, which is understandable. I just don’t want the same to happen as it did with Torres’ first match to reoccur.
To play against friends and pals who you’ve played with for years can be confusing. Should I tackle, should I intimidate, should I score? I hope Mata is professional enough to perform if called upon – He is presently a key player in our team.
It will surprise many but I would start Mata from the bench out of respect and tactics, but he would be asub if needed, maybe bringing him in at the hour mark as a tactical play.
This will be my line up.
Bosingwa Ivanovic Luiz Cole
Sub: Mata, Mereiles, Drogba/Sturidge, Terry (if needed)
By Stan Blue