Valencia v Atletico Madrid, Thursday 20:05
With a two-goal deficit to claw back, Valencia face a considerable task in progressing to the Europa League semi-final this season when they welcome Atletico Madrid to the Estadio Mestalla as PaddyPower post the opportunity for free bets and favour Valencia as odds on favourites for the semi-final fixture.
After going in at half-time level headed, Atleti made it their business for a second half rally, ending the first-leg 4-2 in favour of the Madrid outfit.
As is expected, both sides concerned are significantly better when on home turf though and Valencia have shown glimpses of the kind of performance needed to overturn their two-goal disadvantage.
Los Che have scored an average of 2.06 goals per game at the Mestalla this season, making them the third most effective home side in the Spanish top flight when going forward.
Unai Emery’s men have looked far less convincing at the back however, conceding an average of 1.29 goals per home fixture this campaign and keeping clean sheets in just 29% of those matches.
Valencia made the best preparations they could have heading into this game by recording a 4-0 victory over Real Betis and morale will be at a high within their camp.
With two away goals already to their name, a 2-0 win would be enough to see the hosts through to the final of the European competition but risk leaving themselves open in defence as they search to score.
Emery will be hopeful of his chances of a clean sheet, with Atletico scoring a disappointing 0.82 goals per away game this season.
Diego Simeone will be looking to Radamel Falcao – already with ten Europa League goals to his name this season – to lead his front line as Los Rojiblancos look to net an away goal or two for themselves.
Valencia hold a comfortable advantage over Atletico in terms of the league standings and will be hoping that’s a telling factor during the week as one of the Spaniards look to tie down their spot in the final of the European tournament.