Our prediction for this Champions League match:
Thanks to back-to-back wins over Dinamo Zagreb and Shakhtar Donetsk Atalanta sneaked into the Champions League last 16. The Orobici have not been handed a tough draw as they take on Valencia in the double-header, but boss Gian Piero Gasperini must warn his men against complacency. Anyhow, we believe that punters can find value in betting on the Serie A side, who are a real force to be reckoned with at home.
Atalanta rolled over Milan 5-0 at home in the Italian top flight last month, which is certainly giving fans a reason for optimism ahead of the visit of Valencia. Los Che, on the other hand, booked their place in the Champions League knockout stages by beating Ajax on the road in their last group game. However, given Atalanta’s current form, we predict that the Spaniards are going to return home empty-handed from the trip to Milano.
Highlighted Player (Duvan Zapata):
Duvan Zapata was born in Cali, Colombia on 1 April, 1991. The 186-cm-tall attacker started his youth career at America de Cali, playing for the club between 2004 and 2008. In 2008 he made his debut for the first team and three years later he scored his first hat-trick for the Colombian outfit, in a 3-2 win over Deportivo Pereira.
In 2011 he signed a loan deal with Estudiantes and he found the net for the Argentine team on his debut against Belgrano. After scoring 11 goals in 37 appearances for Estudiantes, the Colombian striker joined Napoli in 2013, but he failed to establish himself as a first-choice attacker.
On 22 July, 2015 Zapata joined fellow Serie A team Udinese on loan and it has to be noted that he scored eight goals in 24 league appearances for the Zebrette. Duvan Zapata has 5 caps for Colombia U20 team, but he has yet to make his debut for the senior side.
Highlighted Team (Valencia):
Founded on March 18, 1919, Valencia FC are a Spanish football club that compete in La Liga. Los Che play their home games at Estadio de Mestalla, the stadium which was opened back in May, 1923. The capacity of the venue is 50,000. Seeing that bats are quite common in Valencia, it is no surprise they are nicknamed the Bats.
Valencia made it to the Champions League final on two occasions (2000, 2001), but they were beaten in the title games by Real Madrid and Bayern Munchen respectively. The Spanish club, though, did well to win the UEFA Cup title in the 2003/2004 season, with the team beating Marseille in the final of the competition.
A number of top-class footballers were part of the club in the past, with the likes of Pablo Aimar, Ruben Baraja, David Albelda, Santiago Canizares, John Carew and Gaizka Mendieta all playing for the Estadio de Mestalla outfit. Valencia main colors are white and black, whilst they often where orange jerseys and shorts when playing on the travels.