Valencia must climb a veritable mountain after the defeat of 4-1 at Atalanta in the reverse match. Had they just had the advantage of a hjemmepublikum as backing, but not even there do they find any encouragement. It makes it very hard to imagine that Valencia is sending the italians out of this year's Champions League.
Coach Albert Celades will face a bit of headaches, as Gabriel Paulista is in quarantine, Garay was supposed to be injured while there are doubts about Mangala. It could provide an opportunity for Coquelin in defence, while Kondogbia can move into the midfield.
Daniel Wass in action. Photo: Miguel Medina/Ritzau Scanpix
Valencia won only one of their three home games in the group stage. Lyon were beaten, while there were defeats against Ajax and pointdeling against Chelsea. There should be completely the other buns on the soup, if they are to progress to the quarter finals.
Atalanta started the Champions League with three defeats and 11 goals conceded. From looking like an early exit, they stand now on the eve of the quarter-finals. In the first match against Valencia, scoring four goals in the first 62 minutes. They followed it up by slaughtered Lecce with seven goals in the following match. They come to the Title with six victories in seven matches and have also just got a little extra spilpause due to the Corona virus, so they are fresh in the mind and body.
Rafael Toloi would be the only questionable participant for coach Gasperini. January-the approach Sutalo is not spilberettiget, but it is Zapata to return. He scored the last hat-trick against Lecce. Atalanta is the most scoring teams in Serie A and their Champions League matches have also not just lack of goals. Valencia must attack, and it will defy any sense, if it ends up målfattigt here.
In the shelter of the Champions League is played there is also a postponed match in La Liga, where Real Sociedad are the favourites in the away game against Eibar, their basque rivals. The basques do not take lightly these ”lokalopgør”, and is Sociedads form strong enough to justify a favoritværdighed here?
Yes, if you just look at formbarometeret, is the well running. This hides, however, perhaps a bit that they lost their last three away matches in La Liga. To lose to Barcelona in Saturday's no shame, but it was preceded by the defeat at Betis and Leganés. So you can also get problems with Eibar.
Real Sociedad against Barcelona on 7. march. Photo: lluis Gene/Ritzau Scanpix
the Latter disappointed great on Saturday against Mallorca, and is only two points from relegation now, so the supporters will expect a completely different effort tonight. Sociedad have already played 14 matches in 2020, four more than Eibar, and they come from a week where they would first have to ensure qualification to the pokalfinalen, so to run in the triangles at the Camp Nou. Two big matches.
Perhaps a third big match just one too much, physically as well as mentally? They have still not won in Eibar since the latter's promotion to La Liga, and have not triumphed here since 2007 or in the six tests in a row.
We throw just a single match from the scottish Championship into the hat. The home team chasing a place in the play-off for promotion, the guests try to avoid defeat and are without a victory in nine matches. They scored only one goal in their last five matches. Inverness won their last three showdowns, of which two are from this season, with 2-0. I go on the hunt for four at the stripe.