Valencia up against it in behind-closed-doors match v Atalanta
Odds preview and betting tips for tonight’s Champions League tie
Poor form, injuries to key players, a three-goal deficit and no home crowd to give them a boost – Spanish side Valencia have a mountain to climb as they host Atalanta in tonight’s Champions League second leg.
Despite just one win in their last seven games in all competitions, Valencia’s head coach Albert Celades remains defiant, suggesting they don’t need a miracle to progress. However, he’ll be well aware that if his side concede an away goal, they’ll need to score five goals to claim victory – and mission improbable quickly becomes mission impossible.
Valencia v Atalanta Match Odds.
With top-scorer Maxi Gomez missing out through injury, Valencia’s goalscoring hopes rest with Kevin Gameiro, who can be backed at 4/1 to score first or 13/10 anytime and Daniel Parejo who is 13/2 to score first or 21/10 anytime.
Atalanta’s Duvan Zapata has been in excellent form since returning from injury, netting 12 goals in 18 appearances so far this season. He leads the betting for Atalanta at 4/1 to score first, or 13/10 to score anytime. Josip Ilcic – who scored in the first leg – is 9/2 to score first, or 7/5 anytime.
This match will be played behind closed doors due to fears over the coronavirus, nullifying Valencia’s home advantage.
Injuries to Ezekiel Garay, Cristiano Piccini and Gomez, along with Gabriel Paulista’s suspension also mean the hosts will need to shuffle the pack.
So, we’ve established that Valencia are up against it, but what about their opponents? Atalanta have enjoyed what must already be considered a successful maiden Champions League campaign.
They progressed from a group that included Man City, Shakhtar Donetsk and Dinamo Zagreb and if they win tonight, they’ll be the first Champions League debutants since Leicester City in 2016/17 to progress to the quarter finals.
Atalanta will be without Rafael Tolói and Berat Djimsiti, while right-back Hans Hateboer – who scored twice in the first leg – could be rested, as he’s one booking away from a suspension.
The visitors hail from the Lombardi region in northern Italy – an area hit hard by the coronavirus. They haven’t played a game since Duvan Zupata scored a hat-trick in a 7-2 win over Lecce on 1st March. Could their lack of recent action play into Valencia’s hands?
Valencia will need to be on the attack from the off, while remaining wary of the Atalanta counter. We could be in for a pulse-pounding encounter if Valencia are able to score early, but an away goal for Atalanta could deflate the Spanish side, meaning the first goal will be crucial tonight.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication.