Valencia sack manager Marcelino before Champions League clash with Chelsea 
 (Photo: Getty Images - Quality Sport Images)

Valencia have sacked manager Marcelino before key Champions League opener against Chelsea.

The Spanish side play the Blues next Tuesday in the opening game of Group H.

Surprise sacking?

Valencia have just come off the back of a 2-0 win at the weekend against Mallorca in La Liga - a win which moved Los Ches up to 10th in the table.

The time of the sacking is probably the most surprising element of all of this, as Valencia are about to play two difficult games in two competitions.

First of all, they have the reigning La Liga Champions Barcelona to face this weekend, before travelling to London to play Chelsea in the opening game of Group H.

It's clear to say that Marcelino overachieved last year with the Spanish Outfit - he guided Valencia to winning the Copa Del Rey, getting to the semi-finals of the Europa League and finishing in the top four of La Liga last season.

So the 54-year-old set high expectations for this year considering the success of last season, however 10th in the league and an average season of last was enough for the Valencia board to pull the trigger.

52 word statement from the club for a manager who has done well overall for the club!

Interestingly, despite the success and the commitment Marcelino has had to the club over the years to Valencia, the Spanish side only released a 52 word statement about his sacking.

Marcelino had been the club's longest-serving manager since now-Arsenal boss Unai Emery left back in 2012.

The statement said: "Valencia CF have informed Marcelino García Toral of their decision to relieve him of his duties as first team coach, effective as of this Wednesday.

"The club wish to thank Marcelino for his hard work and dedication during his time as coach, and wish him the best of success for the future."

Advantage Chelsea?

With Marcelino leaving the club at this crucial time, it leaves Chelsea with an advantage in the sense that Valencia are unstable at the moment and have a uncertain future ahead of them until they hire a new manager.

But with Valencia being manager-less, it could leave the players with a point to prove when they face Barcelona and Chelsea meaning that they become a dangerous team in the short-term.