Unai Emery has started an ambitious lineup, with all of Roberto Soldado, Aritz Aduriz and Alejandro Dominguez in his starting XI, though that may not necessarily lead to more goals. In starting what could be a 4-3-1-2 (with Dominguez leading the midfield), Emery seems to have sacrificed width against a side that could be exploited by it. If Schalke is intent on playing conservatively, Valencia may be playing into their hands.
For Felix Magath, the lineup is predictable. He's going with the 4-4-2 he's settled-on, Joel Matip coming into midfield for the cup-tied Anthony Annan. It's the team that's helped Schalke limit opponents to two goals in their last eight Bundesliga matches. Should they want to play conservatively, Schalke may be able to hold what looks to be a surprisingly narrow set-up from Emery.
Whereas before the lineups were announced, I though Valencia had a good chance of getting a 1-0, perhaps even a 2-0, now I wonder if Schalke might get out of the Mestalla with a result, particularly with Jefferson Farfán going up against Jeremy Mathieu.
Here are the teams, with SB Nation Soccer live coverage to start with the 2:45 p.m. kick-off.
Valencia, Starting XI: Vincente Guaita - Miguel, David Navarro, Ricardo Costa, Jeremy Mathieu - Mehmet Topal, Ever Banega, Alberto Costa - Alejandro Dominguez - Roberto Soldado, Aritz Aduriz; Bench: Brunco, Cesar, Hedwiges Maduro, Joaquin, Jordi Alba, Pablo Hernandez, Vicente
Schalke 04, Starting XI: Manuel Neuer - Atsuto Uchida, Christoph Metzelder, Benedikt Howedes, Luka Schmitz - Jefferson Farfán, Joel Matip, Peer Kluge, Jurado - Raúl, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar; Bench: Ali Karimi, Edu, Hans Sarpei, Hao Jumin, Julian Drazler, Mario Gravranovic, Matias Schober