Atalanta were one of the surprise package of the Champions League this season, without a doubt. They wrote history, and keep on writing, as this is their maiden appearance in the knock-out stages of the Champions League. They were lucky with the draw, as they will now play host to Valencia on Wednesday. Valencia should also consider themselves lucky for the draw, and will try to do their best in this first leg.
Date/Time: 2-19-2020, 15:00 EST
Spread: Valencia +0.75
Total: 2.75 Goals
Atalanta made a really poor start in their first ever Champions League campaign, as they lost their first three matches. Everyone thought they were done for, but Atalanta kept fighting and eventually progressed to the knock-out stages. And that feat made them the first team in CL history to make it to the next round after losing the first three matches. Atalanta have been quite solid in European matches lately, losing just four of their last 20 such matches (9-4-7). They have also been really good at home (11-1-7), and they have never played against a Spanish club.
On the other hand, Valencia did a great job in the group stage, as they finished at the top of their respective group with 11 points (tied with Chelsea). They did a great job in their away matches in the competition, grabbing seven points (2-0-1). Despite this season’s success on the road, Valencia have won just those two out of their last eight Champions League away matches (2-3-3). They have scored just four goals in their last eight away matches in this competition. To make matters worse, they have not scored more than once in any of their last 12. Valencia’s record in two-legged ties against Italian clubs stands at W2 L4.
Atalanta know that they will have to make use of the home advantage in this tie. But they are not actually playing at their natural home ground, but at the San Siro Stadium in Milan. Even so, they know that Valencia are always strong at home, so the Italians should better take whatever advantage they can here. This could feature a lot of goals due to Atalanta’s strong offense, but I will go with the home team to cover the spread here.
Champions League Atalanta vs Valencia Prediction: Atalanta -0.75 (-105)
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