Best odds: 5/2
Atletico Madrid welcome Valencia to the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium on Wednesday in what will be the 34th La Liga game of the 2018/19 season for both sides.
It cannot be said that points mean much for Atleti at this point, at least in terms of their table position. Sitting in second place, realistically speaking, they don’t really stand a chance of catching up with Barcelona on top who are nine points clear with five games to go. Looking below, there is only Real Madrid near enough to potentially overtake them, but the importance of who finishes second and who third is rather questionable as neither position brings a trophy and both lead into the Champions League next season.
However, it is a team led by the ruthless Diego Simeone we’re talking about here, and it’s hard to imagine his players slacking off near the end of the season with the summer transfer window looming ahead.
Atletico are still without striker Diego Costa who has been suspended for the rest of the season. Defender Lucas Hernandez has undergone surgery, while Jose Maria Gimenez misses out with an injury he has picked up at the weekend against Eibar.
The visitors have been on fine form recently having won four of their last five league games, and they will certainly look to keep that going on Wednesday. It is a hard place to visit by all means, but they will be hoping that the content of their locker will be enough to cause some kind of upset in Madrid.
Atletico may have won the most home games in the Spanish top flight this season, but Valencia have scored goals in eight of their last nine trips away from the Mestalla.
Head coach Marcelino will be without his preferred striker with Rodrigo Moreno, heavily linked with a move away from the club this season, suspended for picking up a pair of yellow cards on Sunday against Real Betis. Winger Denis Cheryshev and midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia are also out of contention for this clash.
There can be very little doubt that an evening of high quality football awaits those who take the time to see this game. Two superb teams go head to head, and though their respective motivations may be different, there will be no lack of it. However, it remains questionable whether Valencia will pose sufficient threat upfront without Rodrigo, while the lack of Gimenez and Hernandez for the home team may leave a hole at the back.
Though Atletico are arguably a better team overall and playing at home, Valencia are surely capable of giving them a run for their money.
Best odds: 5/2
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