Valencia vs Atalanta Champions League preview: where to watch, predicted line-ups, team news

Valencia welcome Atalanta in their UEFA Champions League round of 16 decider – all you need to know.

Denis Cheryshev  and Jaume Costa arrive for  Valencia' s Monday training session
Denis Cheryshev and Jaume Costa arrive for Valencia' s Monday training session AFP

Valencia welcome Atalanta in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 on 10 March at 21:00 CET. This page will update with team news, quotes and expert analysis as kick-off approaches.

VALENCIA VS ATALANTA BUILD-UP


Where to watch the game on TV

Fans can find their local UEFA Champions League broadcast partner(s) here.

What happened in the first leg?

Highlights: Atalanta 4-1 Valencia
Highlights: Atalanta 4-1 Valencia

Hans Hateboer scored twice as Atalanta put in a dazzling display to take charge of the tie. Josip Iličić and Remo Freuler also got in on the act with stunning strikes of their own as the competition debutants continued their surprise European adventure.

Possible line-ups

Valencia: Cillessen; Gayà, Diakhaby, Coquelin, Wass; Guedes, Parejo, Kondogbia, Ferran; Rodrigo, Gameiro
Out: Garay (knee), Maxi Gómez (foot), Gabriel (suspended), Piccini (knee), Manu Vallejo (foot ), Mangala (hamstring), Jaume Costa (muscle)
Doubtful: Rodrigo (knee)
Misses next game if booked: Wass

Atalanta: Gollini; Palomino, Caldara, Djimsiti; Hateboer, De Roon, Freuler, Gosens, A Gómez, Iličić; Zapata
Out: Tolói (muscle)
Misses next game if booked: De Roon, Djimsiti, Hateboer, Iličić

Expert predictions

Joseph Walker, Valencia reporter: Nothing in football is impossible, but it's looking nigh on that for Valencia to turn this around. Having succumbed 4-1 in the first leg, Albert Celades's side have it all to do, but will take heart from the amount of chances they created in the first leg – and Denis Cheryshev's late away goal will give them that sliver of hope they can turn it around.

Vieri Capretta, Atalanta reporter: La Dea are flying in Serie A, their 7-2 thrashing of Lecce taking their goal total tally to 70 (ten more than any of their league rivals) and making them the top away-goal scorers in Europe’s top five leagues. The advantage from the first leg is significant, and do not count against more away goals at Mestalla. Gian Piero Gasperini’s men have had a weekend off, due to Serie A games being rescheduled, and will be extra fresh.

Latest results

Valencia
Form: DWLLD (all competitions, most recent first)
Latest: Alavés 1-1 Valencia, 06/03
Next: Atalanta (h), 10/03 – UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg
Where they stand: 7th in Liga

Atalanta
Form: WWWWDW
Latest: Lecce 2-7 Atalanta, 01/03
Next: Valencia (a), 10/03 – UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg
Where they stand: 4th in Serie A

What the coaches say

Albert Celades, Valencia coach: "We'll prepare for the game as well as we can. We're strong at home and the result from the first leg isn't a fair reflection of what happened in the game. I don't think we need a miracle to progress – not at all."

Gian Piero Gasperini, Atalanta coach: "Of course, results like the [4-1 first-leg win] boost our confidence. We need to score at Valencia, as well as stay focused and defend well, but I don't want to be struggling. [We have to keep playing at our best] – it is a psychological thing we are working on, because we seem to get comfortable and assume the job is done when it really is not. The lads were great in the first leg, but I will not celebrate until the second leg is over."

Form guide

Valencia
• Valencia finished level with Chelsea on 11 points in Group H, going through as section winners thanks to a superior head-to-head record against the English club (1-0 a, 2-2 h). They picked up only four of their points at home, losing 3-0 at home to Ajax in their second game – their sole defeat in the section – and coming from behind to beat French side LOSC Lille 4-1 before drawing with Chelsea.

Matchday 4 highlights: Valencia 4-1 LOSC
Matchday 4 highlights: Valencia 4-1 LOSC

• Fourth in the Spanish Liga in 2018/19, this is Valencia's 12th UEFA Champions League campaign. Finalists in both 1999/2000 and 2000/01, this is the first time they have reached the last 16 since 2012/13.

• Twelve months ago Los Blanquinegros finished third in their group behind Juventus and Manchester United to move into the UEFA Europa League. There they overcame Celtic (3-0 on aggregate), Krasnodar (3-2) and Villarreal (5-1) to reach the semi-finals, where they came up short against Arsenal, losing 3-1 in London and 4-2 at home.

• Valencia had won five successive home European matches before losing to Arsenal last season. They have won 13 of their last 19 continental fixtures at Mestalla, losing five. The draw against Chelsea in their most recent fixture was their first at home in Europe since their second leg against Dynamo Kyiv in the 2013/14 UEFA Europa League round of 32 finished goalless.

• Valencia's record in two-legged ties against Italian clubs is W2 L4, although they won the most recent contest, beating Internazionale Milano on away goals at this stage of the 2006/07 UEFA Champions League (2-2 a, 0-0 h).

• The Spanish side were beaten home (0-2) and away (0-1) by Juventus in 2018/19, the first-leg loss to Atalanta stretching their run without a win against Italian opposition in the UEFA Champions League to six games (D2 L4) since a 2-1 home victory against Roma in September 2006. Last season's defeat by Juve means Valencia have won only three of their last eight matches at home to Italian clubs (D1 L4).

• This is Valencia's fourth last-16 tie in the UEFA Champions League (W1 L2), most recently losing to Paris Saint-Germain in 2012/13 (1-2 h, 1-1 a). That 2007 defeat of Inter is their sole success at this stage of the competition, although having drawn both legs of that contest they are still awaiting their first victory in a round of 16 match (D4 L3).

Highlights: Shakhtar Donetsk 0-3 Atalanta
Highlights: Shakhtar Donetsk 0-3 Atalanta

• Of the 20 UEFA competition ties in which Valencia have lost away in the first leg, they have recovered to win on aggregate on ten occasions, although they lost the most recent, against Arsenal in last season's UEFA Europa League semi-final (1-3 a, 2-4 h). They have never previously suffered a 4-1 first-leg away defeat; the only time that they have come back from a first-leg away defeat of a margin greater than one goal was in the 2013/14 UEFA Europa League quarter-final, when they overturned a 0-3 defeat at Basel with a 5-0 home victory after extra time.

• Valencia's record in four UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W2 L2:
5-4 v Arsenal, 1979/80 European Cup Winners' Cup final
4-5 v Bayern München, 2000/01 UEFA Champions League final
5-4 v Celtic, 2001/02 UEFA Cup third round
3-4 v Steaua Bucureşti, 2004/05 UEFA Cup round of 32

Atalanta 
• Atalanta picked up seven points in the group stage to qualify as Group C runners-up, seven behind Manchester City and one ahead of Shakhtar Donetsk. The Italian club took only one point from their first four games and have suffered their two heaviest European defeats this season, losing 4-0 away to Dinamo Zagreb on Matchday 1 before a 5-1 loss at Manchester City in their second away game.

• Atalanta got their first point on the board with a 1-1 draw at home to City in their fourth fixture. They then picked up their first UEFA Champions League win with a 2-0 defeat of Dinamo in Milan and snatched a place in the last 16 thanks to a 3-0 win at Shakhtar on Matchday 6.

Highlights: Shakhtar Donetsk 0-3 Atalanta
Highlights: Shakhtar Donetsk 0-3 Atalanta

• The victory against Dinamo ended Atalanta's six-match winless run in Europe (D3 L3). The successes at Shakhtar and at home to Valencia have made it three consecutive European victories, only the second time Atalanta have achieved that, the other coming in last season's UEFA Europa League qualifying phase.

• Before Matchday 1, the Italian club were unbeaten in seven matches in continental competition; they have still lost only four of their last 21 European games (W10 D7).

• This is Atalanta's 43rd European match, and their seventh campaign in continental competition. They reached the European Cup Winners' Cup semi-finals in 1987/88 and the UEFA Cup quarter-finals three years later.

• Third in Serie A in 2018/19, their highest ever finish, and Coppa Italia runners-up, this is Atalanta's third successive European campaign. They came through the UEFA Europa League group stage in 2017/18, losing to Borussia Dortmund in the round of 32 (2-3 a, 1-1 h), and were beaten 4-3 on penalties by Copenhagen in the play-offs of the same competition in 2018/19 after the tie had finished goalless; Atalanta had earlier eliminated Sarajevo (10-2 aggregate) and Hapoel Haifa (6-1).

• Atalanta lost five of their first six away European matches (D1) but have suffered only four defeats in the 14 since (W5 D5) and just three in the last ten (W4 D3).

• Atalanta were the only team to make their group stage debut in 2019/20 – they were the tenth Italian club to feature and the 141st overall – and are one of two round of 16 debutants along with Germany's RB Leipzig.

• Atalanta had not faced Spanish club in UEFA competition before the first leg.

• The Italian club's aggregate record when winning the home first leg in UEFA competition is W1 L1. Their first European tie ended in defeat by Sporting CP in the 1963/64 European Cup Winners' Cup first round (2-0 h, 1-3 a, 1-3 replay) before Atalanta defeated the same opponents in the quarter-final of the same competition in 1987/88 (2-0 h, 1-1 a).

• Atalanta have yet to feature in a UEFA penalty shoot-out.

Links and trivia

Luis Muriel is returning to Spain with Atalanta
Luis Muriel is returning to Spain with AtalantaGetty Images

• Has played in Spain:
Luis Muriel (Granada 2010–11, Sevilla 2017–18)

• Have played in Italy:
Cristiano Piccini (Fiorentina 2010–15, Carrarese 2011/12 (loan), Spezia 2012/13 (loan), Livorno 2013/14 (loan))
Geoffrey Kondogbia (Inter 2015–17)
Alessandro Florenzi (Roma 2002–20, Crotone 2011/12 (loan))

• Florenzi's record against Atalanta with Roma was W3 D5 L3. He scored in a 3-3 draw on 27 August 2018.

• Kondogbia's first Inter appearance was a 1-0 home win against Atalanta on 23 August 2015.

• International team-mates:
Jasper Cillessen & Marten de Roon, Hans Hateboer (Netherlands)
Alessandro Florenzi & Mattia Caldara, Pierluigi Gollini (Italy)