The knockout stage of the UEFA Champions League continues on Wednesday with a clash between Atalanta and Valencia. The Italians are firm favorites here as the Bats travel to Stadio Giuseppe Meazza without several key players. Check out our Champions League Preview for this duel.
After snapping a run of six winless UEFA matches (D3, L3) with back-to-back victories in the group stage, Atalanta tackle their maiden appearance in the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League. The Italian side became the first team in history to progress from a UCL group stage despite losing their first three matches.
Atalanta have lost just one of their last six matches (W1, D4) in all competitions at Giuseppe Meazza, despite scoring first in only two of those six contests. Victory here would also complete a three-game winning streak for just the second time in Atalanta’s European history.
Atalanta Team News
Gian Piero Gasperini is happy to have all of his key players healthy and ready for the clash with Valencia. Bosko Sutalo is the only one who will miss the game as he is still waiting for his Atalanta debut.
- Josip Iličić has found the back of the net in seven of 11 matches since his last UCL appearance, netting Atalanta’s first goal in three of his last six
- Atalanta collected 2.83 yellow cards per-group stage game – the equal second-most of any team
- Atalanta didn’t win the race to three corners in any of their six group stage matches
Valencia have made four visits to San Siro this century, avoiding defeat on three of four occasions (D3, L1). In the UCL alone, Valencia lament a fairly poor record in Italy this century (W1, D2, L5), with the solitary win (as well as all five losses) returning 1-0 scorelines.
Over on the domestic scene, the visitors have taken points from just two of six La Liga fixtures as an outsider on the road (W1, D1, L4). Yet, with Valencia having opened the scoring in their three group stage away games (W2, D1), their continental traveling form inspires confidence.
Valencia Team News
Unlike Gasperini, Valencia’s head coach Albert Celades has a lot of injury-related problems for this clash. He will be without Rodrigo (knee), Ezequiel Garay (knee), Manu Vallejo (foot), Cristiano Piccini (knee), and Gabriel (suspension). Francis Coquelin, Kangin Lee, and Alessandro Florenzi are also unavailable to feature on Wednesday.
- Rodrigo Moreno has recorded Valencia’s first goal on five separate occasions this season, including twice in the UCL group stage
- Valencia have had a player sent-off in six of their last 13 La Liga/UEFA matches on the road
These rivals have never met in a competitive game before. They did play a friendly match back in 2017 when Atalanta secured a 2-1 victory.
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