Atalanta made it four games unbeaten with a win over Roma at the weekend and they will be extremely confident ahead of this tie with Valencia. The visitors have failed to win any of their last three in all competitions and have struggled on the road this season. With several injury concerns and absentees, it does not bode well for Valencia who will face a full-strength Atalanta side. Defensively, Valencia is missing both first-choice central defenders so this will be a major test for those stepping into the side.
The atmosphere in the San Siro will be excellent despite Atalanta not being able to play in their regular home stadium and they will be confident of getting a positive result to take to Spain in the second leg. Atalanta came from behind to pick up a vital victory over Roma at the weekend as they made it four games without defeat in Serie A and they currently sit in fourth place domestically.
Atalanta is going strong
The Italian side only won one of their three home matches in the group stage, but they also impressively held Man City to a draw and picked up seven points from their last three matches to pull qualification out of the hat in a competition where they clearly had some adjusting to do but when they settled in, they certainly looked the part. Atalanta appears to have no injury doubts ahead of this first leg and Gian Piero Gasperini knows his side have no excuses if they are beaten so the focus will very much be on taking a win into the second leg.
Valencia was unable to bounce back from their heavy loss to Getafe as they were held to a draw by Atletico Madrid at the weekend. Their general form will be a concern for head coach Albert Celades. He has plenty of issues to deal with ahead of this fixture with Gabriel Paulista unavailable due to suspension, but it could be that a change in personnel will have a positive effect as the Spaniards look to nick a result at the San Siro.
Piccini and Garay are out through injury for this match and they could be joined on the sidelines by Cillessen, Florenzi, Coquelin, Rodrigo and Manu Vallejo so it is likely that the La Liga side will be significantly weakened for this first leg, and even though we don’t thoroughly trust Atalanta yet at these prices we find it hard to build a case for Valencia.