Valencia vs Atletico Madrid
Estadio de Mestalla, Valencia
Friday, 14-02-2020 @11pm
Ref: David Medie
Six of Valencia’s last seven home matches in La Liga have produced fewer than 2.5 goals, with the same applying to all but one of Atletico Madrid’s 11 away league games this season. Four of the last five La Liga matches between the teams have produced fewer than 2.5 goals, with three of those games ending all square. Valencia are unbeaten at home in La Liga this term, but have drawn five of their 12 starts (W7, D5). Atleti, meanwhile, have drawn five of their last eight outings on the road (W1, D5 and L2).
Valencia have consistently failed to back up their tremendous home form on the road this season, and they were exposed again on their travels last weekend as top-four rivals Getafe ran out convincing 3-0 winners at Coliseum Alfonso Perez.
Los Che were battered from minute one in Madrid, and had stopper Jaume Domenech to thank for keeping the score down. Valencia eventually caved during the last 30 minutes as veteran Jorge Molina fired in a brace and Mata added a third; their misery compounded by Alessandro Fiorenzi’s sending off for a barbaric challenge on Cucurella.
Valencia are such a difficult team to fathom; they were trounced 4-1 by relegation-strugglers Mallorca in their previous away game, but showed no ill-effects as they went on to beat champions Barcelona 2-0 at home on Matchday 21, before grinding out a 1-0 success against Celta Vigo at Mestalla the following week.
Their fine record of seven wins and five draws from 12 outings on home soil this season proves Albert Celades’ men have been able to recover quickly from poor results and performances on their travels, but heavy beatings like they suffered at Getafe on Matchday 23 may soon start taking their toll.
Valencia’s defeat at Coliseum Alfonso Perez leaves them seventh in the table and two points behind the Champions League places, with Atletico Madrid holding fourth spot going into this Friday’s crunch fixture. Los Colchoneros had slipped out of the top four following a 0-0 home stalemate against Leganes and defeats to Real Madrid (1-0) and Eibar (2-0), so their match against Granada at Wanda Metropolitano last Saturday night really was a must-win affair.
Angel Correa latched onto Koke’s neat through ball just six minutes in to settle the nerves, and the Argentine’s strike proved enough as Atleti managed the contest with authority, to grind out an important 1-0 victory.
The win boosted Atleti’s fine home record this season to seven wins and four draws from 12 games; but like Valencia, Simeone’s charges have been indifferent on their travels throughout the campaign.
Los Colchoneros have three wins, five draws and three defeats on the board from 11 away starts and have lost their last two. So it’s hard to envisage a follow-up success here, particularly considering Valencia’s unbeaten record at Mestalla.
The other La Liga games this weekend
-Mallorca vs Alaves @3pm
-Barcelona vs Getafe @6pm
-Villarreal vs Levante @8:30pm
-Granada vs Valladolid @11pm
-Sevilla vs Espanyol @2pm
-Leganes vs Betis @4pm
-Eibar vs Sociedad @6pm
-Bilbao vs Osasuna @8:30pm
-Real Madrid vs Celta Vigo @11pm