22 February 2019
After pulling off a vital 2-0 triumph in Scotland, Valencia welcome Celtic to the Estadio de Mestalla for the return leg of their Europa League last-32 tie.
Although they are unbeaten in their last seven games across all competitions, the hosts have secured only three wins in that period (W3, D4). Also, Marcelino Garcia Toral’s’ men have racked up a 12-game home lossless run (W8, D4), restricting their rivals to a maximum of one match goal in every single clash in the process. A promising fact for the home fans is that the Bats managed to keep a clean sheet in three consecutive matches although they’ve only scored in one of them. But, Marcelino seems unable to solve his team’s consistency issues that mainly relate to their performance in the final third. After scoring three goals per match in three successive home outings, the Oranges have failed to find the back of the net in their last two games at the Estadio de Mestalla.
Meanwhile, the Hoops have maintained an impressive domestic run, beating Kilmarnock 1-0 last weekend. It was Celtic’s eighth victory in nine competitive clashes in 2019 as Valencia remain the only team to go past Brendan Rodgers’ defense after the Christmas break. However, the current Scottish holders haven’t been as impressive on the road, suffering two defeats in their last five away meetings across all competitions (W3, L2). What’s more, the Hoops have lost two of three road encounters in the Europa League group stage, allowing over 1.5 goals per match in both failures. Still, mainly thanks to stubborn defending, seven of the Bhoys’ previous ten competitive road matches have produced under 2.5 goals, while just two of them have seen goals on both ends.
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