Valencia to pounce while Atletico’s Copa del Rey gaze is averted

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Valencia’s season is currently falling below expectations as they sit in eighth place in La Liga and eight points off the European qualification places.

But, a place in the Copa del Rey last 16 provides a slim glimmer of light in a current campaign that’s seen them lose half of their 18 league outings already and while their opponents may be formidable, a foothold in the tie can be gained with a win at home in the first leg.

Atletico Madrid are a winning machine in Spain, collecting victory in 23 of their 28 matches in all competitions.

With that in mind it’s easy to see why Ladbrokes have priced them up as the 1/1 favourites for victory at the Mestalla, but the hosts’ 27/10 price should by no means be balked at.

Diego Simeone’s side have matched Barcelona every step of the way in the hunt for the La Liga trophy this term and a pivotal battle with the country’s power house is next on Atletico’s schedule following this Copa del Rey clash.

They therefore may not be giving Valencia their full attention, choosing to rest players ahead of their crunch Barca duel, with any first teamers who are picked perhaps playing within themselves in order to preserve energy.

There’s never been a better time to back against Simeone’s side, with Valencia’s three wins in their last five home games doing nothing but good for their cause.

That only one of those five matches has been lost means that taking the 3/4 on Valencia prevailing in the double chance market also appeals, but naturally would provide a far shorter windfall.

Los Che have avoided defeat in all but one of their last 13 home meetings with Altetico, winning seven of them and an eighth is on the cards this evening.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.