Atalanta vs Valencia prediction: Atalanta 2-0 Valencia
Atalanta have already exceeded expectations in their maiden Champions League season and will be hopeful of upsetting European regulars Valencia in this tie.
Valencia aren’t in great form at the moment. They are winless in their last three and have lost three of their last five away matches. It must be noted however that they won away at Chelsea and Ajax earlier in the competition.
Atalanta vs Valencia: Who will win?
Atalanta have lost just one of their last seven home games in all competitions. Atalanta are 3/4 favourites to win the match while Valencia are priced 10/3 to win. The draw can be backed at 3/1.
Valencia have only scored one goal in their previous four away matches. Bet on an Atalanta clean sheet at 13/8.
Josip Ilicic is Atalanta’s leading scorer with 15 goals all competitions this season. Ilicic is 9/2 to open the scoring and 13/10 to score anytime.
Atalanta vs Valencia Champions League match preview
Atalanta welcome Valencia for the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie on Wednesday night.
Despite picking up just 7 points, Atalanta finished second in Group C, behind Manchester City, Shakhtar Donetsk and Dinamo Zagreb. They became the first side in Champions League history to reach the last 16 of the competition after losing their first three group matches.
Atalanta’s Gewiss Stadium did not meet UEFA’s requirements so the Nerazzurri have played all their home matches in the Champions League at the San Siro, home to the two Milan clubs.
Atalanta remain 4th in Serie A after coming from behind to beat Roma 2-1 at home on Saturday. Jose Palomino and Mario Pasalic got their names on the scoresheet. The win extends their unbeaten run to four matches.
Atalanta are comfortably the top scorers in Serie A this season, scoring 63 goals in their 24 matches. They have not yet been able to replicate that scoring form in Europe but fairly recent 5-0 and 7-0 victories in Serie A will serve as a reminder to Valencia.
The first ever meeting between Valencia & Atalanta…
Valencia surprised many people by finishing as winners of Group H, which included Chelsea, Ajax and Lille. Los Che finished on 11 points, the same number as Chelsea, but topped the group on head-to-head.
Valencia twice came from behind to draw 2-2 at home to Atletico Madrid on Friday night, courtesy of goals from Gabriel Paulista and Geoffrey Kondogbia. The draw leaves them 7th in La Liga, two points behind a Champions League qualifying position.
Wednesday’s referee is Michael Oliver, who has dished out 26 yellows and one red card in his four European matches this season. Valencia have picked up six red cards in their last 13 away matches, and two in each of their previous Champions League matches on the road.
This is the first meeting between the two sides. In fact, this is Atalanta’s first UEFA match against a Spanish club. Valencia have won two and lost four of their six previous two-legged ties against Italian clubs.
The return leg at the Mestalla takes place on 10 March.
Atalanta team news vs Valencia
Gian Piero Gasperini has no injury concerns ahead of Wednesday’s match.
Rafael Toloi missed Atalanta’s final group game through suspension and should return to the heart of defence.
Chelsea loanee Mario Pasalic came off the bench to net Atalanta’s winner on Saturday but is not expected to replace Josip Ilicic or Daniel Zapata in the starting eleven. Luis Muriel is another potential attacking option.
Valencia team news vs Atalanta
Gabriel Paulista will serve a one-match ban after being sent off in Valencia’s final group match. The former Arsenal defender will be available for the return leg in Valencia.
Ezequiel Garay has completed his European suspension but misses out through injury, meaning Eliaquim Mangala and Mouctar Diakhaby should start at centre-back.
Alessandro Florenzi should replace Daniel Wass at right-back after missing the Atletico clash through suspension.
In attack, Rodrigo Moreno remains a doubt, meaning one of Goncalo Guedes or Kevin Gameiro should partner Maxi Gomez
Francis Coquelin is another doubt for Los Che, while Cristiano Piccini and Manu Velljo are still sidelined.
Former Inter Milan midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia will be very familiar with the San Siro, perhaps more so than many Atalanta players.
Atalanta predicted line-up vs Valencia
Valencia predicted line-up vs Atalanta
All odds mentioned in this article are correct at the time of publishing and are subject to change.