It is time for the Round of 16 in the Champions League as the best clubs in Europe compete for the ultimate club prize on the continent. There are some new and returning faces to this stage of the competition in the 2019-2020 season and this preview will look at the Wednesday matches this week that see Atalanta host Valencia and Red bull Leipzig travel to North London to take on Spurs.
Atalanta vs. Valencia
Atalanta are the shock team in the Round of 16 after a 3-0 win over Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine on the final day of group action powered them to second place in Group C. This was a stunning turn around after the Italian minnows lost their first three group games by a combined score of 11-2. The team will be basically at full strength with only defender Bosko Sutalo as an injury worry that will concern coach Gian Piero Gasperini.
Valencia will love their draw here and will think they have more than enough to beat the team that finished as shock third place in Serie A last season. Head coach Albert Celades has this team moving in the right direction and they finished top of Group H ahead of English powerhouse Chelsea thanks to a better head to head record. They also saw Ajax out of the competition in the group stage.
Valencia will be without Ezequiel Garay, while Gabriel is suspended for this clash. Look for Geoffrey Kondogbia to make an impact after he scored an equalizing goal against Atletico Madrid at the weekend.
Tip: Valencia will fancy their chances in the home leg so expect them to play for a draw at 2.88 with BetXChange.
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Red Bull Leipzig
Jose Mourinho has plenty of experience winning the Champions League and if he is to do so yet again this season then his next step is to navigate Spurs through a tricky looking tie with upstarts Red Bull Leipzig. The North London side finished second behind another German side in Bayern Munich to close out group play. Mourinho will be without his talismanic striker Harry Kane for both legs of this tie as he is a long term injury patient, as is dynamic French midfielder Moussa Sissoko.
Spurs are finally beginning to find some form in the Premier League after a start to the season that never really got going. They have won three games in a row in the English top-flight and are up to fifth in the table.
Leipzig suffered no new injuries in their game against Werder Bremen at the weekend which they took with a comfortable 3-1 win. A pair of Spurs targets will be playing for Leipzig in this one, with Timo Werner and Dayot Upamecano both linked with the North London club during recent transfer windows. Leipzig will be without the injured group of Willi Orban, Tyler Adams, Kevin Kampl. and Ibrahima Konate, but coach Julian Nagelsmann will still fancy his chances of getting a positive result at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Tip: The Spurs’ defense always looks leaky and the recent run of form may have glossed over the cracks as opposed to being a sign of a new dawn. This one has draw written all over it with both teams to score.