UEFA Champions League: Valencia vs Atalanta preview

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February 18th, 2020
Back UEFA Champions League: Valencia vs Atalanta preview

Two UEFA Champions League outsiders clash on Wednesday evening in Bergamo, where Serie A side Atalanta host LaLiga team Valencia at Atleti Azzurri d'Italia stadium in the first leg of their last-sixteen tie. This is the first ever direct match between these two teams and also the first European match for Atalanta against a Spanish team. Valencia have met Italian sides on 24 occasions in European competitions and have won just seven of them and just two out of twelve away from home. 

Atalanta are making their first ever UEFA Champions League campaign a memorable one, they started the group stage with three consecutive defeats but then managed to qualify thanks to a draw against Manchester City and victories over Shakhtar Donetsk and Dinamo Zagreb. They have won their last two Serie A matches, including last week's 2-1 win over AS Roma, which consolidated their fourth place in the league table. Atalanta have a clean bill of health ahead of Wednesday's match and Rafael Toloi is available as well after having missed the last group match through suspension. 

Valencia are without a win in their last three matches in all competitions, they crashed out of the Spanish Cup at the beginning of February and last week they managed to grab a 2-2 home draw against Atletico Madrid. That result dropped them to seventh place in the LaLiga table, but they are still just two points away from the top four. In the Champions League, Valencia did well to finish first in Group G ahead of Chelsea and Ajax, losing just one of their six matches. Gabriel Paulista is suspended for this match, while Ezequiel Garay, Manu Vallejo and Cristiano Piccini are injured. 

Probable line-ups: 

Atalanta: Gollini - Toloi, Palomino, Djimsiti - Hateboer, De Roon, Freuler, Gosens - A. Gomez - Ilicic, Zapata

Valencia: Cillessen - Florenzi, Diakhaby, Mangala, Gaya - Torres, Parejo, Kondogbia, Soler - M. Gomez, Guedes

My prediction: 

Atalanta are very strong at home and now they should have a bit more confidence in European matches as well, I think the Italian side will win 2-1. 

Here are the odds for the match at NetBet

Atalanta win - 2.05

Draw - 3.70

Valencia win - 3.45

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