Three players to look out for in Valencia’s Champions League run

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The Champions League draw will be announced today with some interesting names coming back into the fold.

One of those clubs is Valencia.

Los Che have been missing from Europe’s elite competition for a few years now, but after finishing fourth in La Liga last campaign they secured their return to the big time.

They’re 50/1 to wrestle the Champions League trophy from Real Madrid, but more important will be to ensure they remain in La Liga’s top four.

We have a look at some of the names to watch out for and who could announce themselves on club football’s biggest stage…

Gabriel Paulista

Remember him? The man who gained instant cult hero status at Arsenal for standing up to Diego Costa earlier in his Gunners career.

He won much fanfare after his performance in the FA Cup semi-final win over Man City in 2017 but never fully held down a regular starting spot.

He has been a mainstay since his move to Valencia though.

The defender made 35 appearances in all competitions last year and has started this campaign as the main man at the heart of the defence.

Denis Cheryshev

The former Real Madrid and Villarreal man shot back to prominence in Russia’s World Cup run earlier this summer.

Before last season, the last time he played over 15 league games was in the 2014/15 campaign.

However, after fighting his way into the Russia squad at the beginning of the year, he notched four goals at the World Cup.

One of the most experienced men in the Valencia forward line, his nous in front of goal could prove vital to their fortunes.

Santi Mina

Mina was a big part of Gary Neville’s ill-fated spell at Valencia in 2015-16. But he’s since gone from strength to strength after switching from a right wing position to a centre forward.

He netted 12 goals from that position last season and has fast become central to Marcelino’s plans.

His quick wittedness in the final third along with his excellent technical ability adds an extra dimension to the attack.

As he enters his fourth season for Los Che this could finally be the year the whole of Europe find out what he’s all about.

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All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication

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