Atalanta's dream debut continues with a last-16 tie against Valencia, seeking a first quarter-final appearance since 2007.
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Atalanta's UEFA Champions League debut continues with a round of 16 tie against Valencia, who are bidding to reach the quarter-finals for the first time in 13 years.
• The Italian side go into the first leg against their Spanish opponents – the sides' first fixture – having finished second in Group C behind Manchester City.
• Valencia, meanwhile, finished first in Group H to reach the round of 16 for the first time since 2012/13, and the fourth overall.
• 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 picked up 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 also conceded two late goals to lose 2-1 at home to Shakhtar on Matchday 2 before getting 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 win in the competition 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.
• The victory against Dinamo ended Atalanta's six-match winless run in Europe (D3 L3). The success at Shakhtar made it two consecutive European victories; they have won three matches in a row only once before, 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 20 European games (W9 D7).
• This is Atalanta's 42nd 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).
• The loss to Shakhtar on Matchday 2 is Atalanta's sole defeat in 15 European home matches (W7 D7), since a 2-1 defeat against Belgian side Mechelen in the 1987/88 European Cup Winners' Cup semi-final second leg (2-4 aggregate). Those are their only defeats in their 20 home European matches (W11 D7).
• 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.
• This is Atalanta's first UEFA match against a Spanish club.
• 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 seven of their points away from home, winning 1-0 at last season's semi-finalists Ajax on Matchday 6 to secure progress; their remaining four points came from French side LOSC Lille (1-1 a, 4-1 h) with their only defeat a 3-0 loss at home to Ajax in their second game.
• The wins at Chelsea and Ajax this season are Valencia's only successes in their last eight UEFA Champions League away matches (D3 L3); however, they have won five of their last 12 (D4 L3).
• Valencia have scored only four goals in their last eight away UEFA Champions League matches and have not scored more than once in any of their last 12, qualifying included.
• 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 section 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'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, stretching their run without a win against Italian opposition in the UEFA Champions League to five games (D2 L3) since a 2-1 home victory against Roma in September 2006. Last season's defeat at Juve made it seven losses in their 12 games away to Serie A sides (W2 D3).
• 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 L2).
• Valencia lost the 2001 UEFA Champions League final on penalties to Bayern München at Milan's San Siro, the venue for this game. Their record at the stadium against Italian hosts is D3 L1, all against Inter.
Links and trivia
• 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:
Marten de Roon, Hans Hateboer & Jasper Cillessen (Netherlands)
Mattia Caldara, Pierluigi Gollini & Alessandro Florenzi (Italy)
• UEFA Champions League squad changes
In: Mattia Caldara (AC Milan, loan), Lennart-Marten Czyborra (Heracles Almelo), Adrien Tameze (Nice, loan)
Out: Andrea Masiello (Genoa), Guilherme Arana (end of loan), Roger Ibañez (Roma, loan), Simon Kjær (end of loan), Nicolò Cambiaghi, Roberto Piccoli, Diallo Amad Traoré, Musa Barrow (Bologna, loan)
• Since Matchday 6 Atalanta's league record is W5 D2 L2, the only defeats 2-1 losses at Bologna on 15 December and at home to SPAL on 20 January. Gian Piero Gasperini's men posted consecutive 5-0 wins against AC Milan and Parma at the turn of the year and also set a new club record with a 7-0 win at Torino on 25 January, their biggest ever in Serie A.
• On Saturday Atalanta came from a goal down to win 2-1 at home to Roma, their third victory in four Serie A matches (D1), putting them six points clear of the Giallorossi in fourth place. José Luis Palomino scored the equaliser – the Argentinian defender's first goal for Atalanta since October 2018.
• Atalanta have scored in their last 15 games in all competitions, registering 39 goals since the 0-0 draw at Sampdoria on 10 November.
• Gasperini's side lost 2-1 at Fiorentina in the last 16 of the Coppa Italia on 15 January.
• On 6 January, Duván Zapata played for the first time since suffering a thigh injury on 12 October. He scored in the recent victories against Torino and Fiorentina, making it eight goals in 14 Serie A appearances this season.
• Josip Iličić has scored ten goals in his last nine games in all competitions, including a hat-trick in the 7-0 win at Torino.
• Robin Gosens has already scored seven league goals this season, four more than he has ever previously managed in a single campaign.
• Alejandro Gómez has ten assists in Serie A this season, the fourth successive campaign in which he has reached double digits.
• In the Coppa Italia game against Fiorentina, defender Mattia Caldara made his first Atalanta start since 1 May 2018 after returning to the club on loan following an injury-hit spell at AC Milan.
• UEFA Champions League squad changes
In: Alessandro Florenzi (Roma, loan), Javier Jiménez, Cristiano Piccini
Out: Ezequiel Garay, Koba Koindredi, Yunus Musah
• Eliaquim Mangala's next appearance in UEFA club competition will be his 50th.
• Valencia have won only four of their 12 matches in all competitions since Matchday 6 (D4 L4). They twice came from behind to draw 2-2 at home to Atlético Madrid on Friday.
• In the Liga, Valencia have recorded three victories in their eight games since the end of the UEFA Champions League group stage (D3 L2).
• On 8 January, they lost 3-1 to Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup semi-final.
• Valencia's defence of the Copa del Rey ended with a 2-1 defeat at Granada in the quarter-finals on 4 February.
• Goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen has not played since 7 December due to a hip injury, although he was an unused substitute for four games in January. Denis Cheryshev came on as a substitute against Atlético having been out with a hamstring problem since 19 January.
• Manu Vallejo (foot) made his last appearance on 21 December.
• Kevin Gameiro suffered a thigh injury in the 1-0 home win against Celta Vigo on 1 February, returning as a second-half substitute against Atlético.
• Ezequiel Garay suffered a cruciate ligament tear in his right knee against Celta and is not expected to play again this season; he has been removed from Valencia's UEFA Champions League squad.
• Cristiano Piccini (knee) has been out since 24 August.
Official UEFA Champions League Man of the Match award introduced
UEFA will give out an official Man of the Match award after every UEFA Champions League knockout stage game to recognise the top performers in Europe's top club competition. UEFA Technical Observers at each UEFA Champions League game from the round of 16 on will decide who deserves the Man of the Match, with an official award being handed to the successful players after full-time in recognition of their roles in decisive moments, tactical maturity, creativity and inspiration, exceptional skill and fair play.