8 March 2019
Valencia’s quest for a second UEFA Europa League title continues in the round of 16 against Krasnodar as the two sides meet each other at the Estadio de Mestalla.
The hosts were too strong for Celtic in the previous round, winning 2-0 in Scotland and 1-0 in Spain. The Bats had originally started their European journey in the Champions League but have failed to go past the group stage; finishing third in Group H. Marcelino Garcia Toral’s men come into this meeting after racking up an 11-game unbeaten run across all competitions (W6, D5). The Oranges seem to have rediscovered their impressive defensive game, keeping seven clean sheets in the aforementioned period although allowing over 1.5 goals per match twice along the way. What’s more, Valencia have conceded just one goal in their last eight home clashes, while scoring 13 goals in the process. Another worrying fact for the Russian guests is that Valencia’s last Europa League home loss dates back to 2013/14, after which they’ve picked up six wins in the next nine fixtures (W6, D3).
As for the visitors, they’ve managed to outmaneuver Bayer Leverkusen in the previous round thanks to an away-goals resolution (0-0 home, 1-1 away). Although the Russian giants finished runners-up in the EL Group J, behind Sevilla, they’ve secured all three home wins in spite of the fact they had to come from behind in each. However, the Bulls go into this encounter off the back of a disappointing seven-game winless run across all competitions (D5, L2) as they still chase their elusive first competitive triumph in 2019. Another potential concern for Murad Musayev could be that Krasnodar had a very little success against the Spanish teams in the recent period, losing all three of their previous visits to the Iberian Peninsula.
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