3 October 2019
Valencia and Ajax go head-to-head at the Estadio de Mestalla for their first UEFA Champions League (CL) meeting since the 2002/03 season.
The hosts surprisingly pulled off a narrow 1-0 away win over Chelsea in the opening fixture, which was their second successive triumph in the CL group stage following a 2-1 home success against Manchester United in last season’s matchday six. Interestingly, none of Valencia’s last 16 European matches at Mestalla has ended in a draw (W12, L4), with Los Ches winning five of the last six such fixtures (W5, L1). The fact that the Dutch clubs have never walked away from Mestalla with three points can encourage the head coach Albert Celades, especially as the Oranges won four of six such matches (W4, D2). What’s more, free-scoring Valencia have netted at least one goal in their last seven European home games, bagging 2+ goals five times in the process.
Meanwhile, last season’s semi-finalists kicked off the new European campaign with a bang, brushing aside Lille 3-0 on home soil. Ajax’s run of impressive form saw them pick up ten wins in 18 European matches in 2018/19 (W10, D6, L2), eight of which witnessed them net two or more goals. The Lancers’ CL adventure this year started in the third qualifying round with a 5-4 aggregate success against PAOK (2-2 A, 3-2 H), after which they bowed out APOEL in the play-offs thanks to a 2-0 home win following a goalless draw in Nicosia. But, although the Dutch heavyweights swept aside Real Madrid 4-1 in their last visit to Spain, it was their only triumph in the previous ten European trips to the Iberian country (W1, D2, L7).
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