Atalanta vs Valencia predictions, H2H and match preview for this Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League last 16, 1st Leg match. Read on for analysis and predicted line-ups as Los Che travel to take on the free-scoring Italians in Milan.
by Mark Sochon – @marksoc1
Atalanta vs Valencia Preview
Of all the Champions League last 16 ties, this is one that may slip under the radar in terms of media build-up and coverage, but it could just turn out to be one of the best. It’s a tie that is genuinely tough to call and certainly promises to deliver goals.
Atalanta are scoring for absolute fun in Serie A. They average an extraordinary 2.63 goals per game. To put that in some perspective, they’ve netted 17 more times than leaders Juventus this season. Those goals have been spread around the team too meaning there isn’t really one player that Albert Celades’ team will need to stop here.
Their sheer presence in this stage is extraordinary when you consider they actually lost their first three group games including a 5-1 hammering away to Manchester City. However they gradually found their feet, taking 7 points from their final 3 games to sneak through.
Valencia meanwhile are the seeded team in this tie after they impressively won a really competitive group which featured both Chelsea and Ajax. Los Che won away to both of those sides which should give them enormous belief heading into this match, although some of their recent domestic performances have been far less convincing.
The Spaniards have only won 4 of their 12 matches (excluding penalty shootouts) since they won in Amsterdam to seal their European progress. That has raised fresh doubts on Celades who again finds himself in a position where he may just need a positive outcome to this tie if he is to retain the support of a Valencia fanbase that was far from thrilled with the circumstances that led to his appointment.
Atalanta vs Valencia Predictions
Score Prediction: 3-1 Atalanta
This could be really tough for Valencia. Even with their strongest eleven out, a game against such free-scoring opponents would have been tricky but they have numerous defensive absentees including the suspended Gabriel Paulista and the injured Cristiano Piccini and Ezequiel Garay. Eliaquim Mangala and Mouctar Diakhaby are their only available centre-backs and it’s an unfamiliar pairing that is at risk of being exploited here.
There will be chances for the visitors though and they look capable of getting an away goal which should keep them in the tie heading into the return at Mestalla.
UEFA Champions League Last 16 Betting Tips (18+)
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Atalanta vs Valencia H2H
- The sides have never previously met in a competitive setting.
- Indeed Atalanta have never previously met Spanish opposition in European football.
- The teams did meet in a 2017 friendly though which Atalanta won 2-1.
Predicted Line Ups
Gollini – Djimsiti, Palomino, Toloi – Gosens, Freuler, Roon, Hateboer – Gomez – Zapata, Illicic (3-4-1-2)
Cillessen – Gaya, Mangala, Diakhaby, Wass – Soler, Kondogbia, Parejo, Torres – Guedes, Gomez (4-4-2)
We have match previews and predictions for every game in La Liga this season plus some European and Copa del Rey games.
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