Champions League Betting – Valencia at Monaco
Zack GarrisonNo comments
After a 3-1 win at home in the first leg of their two-game playoff, Valencia will look to punch their ticket to the Champions League group stage tomorrow when they visit AS Monaco at Stade Louis II Stadium (2:45 PM Eastern).
Though they were heavy favorites heading into last week’s game, Valencia ought to be ecstatic to carry a two-goal differential into the second leg. In reality, the first match was a lot closer than the scoreline suggests, with the second and third goals for Valencia coming against the flow of play.
Rodrigo (4′), Daniel Parejo (59′), and Sofiane Feghouli (86′) scored for the Spanish squad, while Mario Pasalic kept Monaco’s hopes alive with a 49th minute tally.
Even though it didn’t hold up, Pasalic’s early second half equalizer was huge for the Ligue 1 squad. If Monaco can manage a 2-0 win tomorrow, they will advance on the strength of the lone away goal.
Valencia manager Nuno Espirito Santo certainly isn’t counting his chickens before they hatch.
“We will go to Monaco to compete, we know what awaits us and that nothing is final. There are no favorites in football, and nothing is definitive. We go there off a victory that was crucial”, said Santo in his official press conference.
Valencia didn’t get off to as quick a start in La Liga on the weekend, posting a scoreless draw against Rayo Vallecano in their season opener. Despite the three-goal effort against Monaco, there are a lot of doubts about their new offensive scheme.
AS Monaco, meanwhile, are 1-2-0 in their first three Ligue 1 matches, downing Nice in the first game of the season, but drawing Lille and Toulouse in the last two fixtures. The draw with Toulouse won’t have alleviated the bitter taste that manager Leonardo Jardim was left with after the setback to Valencia.
“I don’t think the result was fair, for two reasons. We hit the post. If that had gone in, the outcome would have changed,” Jardim said after the Champions League loss. “And Valencia scored their second and third goals when we were playing our best.”
In the trends, AS Monaco have only lost once against Spanish teams over their last eight games (4-3-1). They should be full value for the win, but expect a 1-0 victory that sees Valencia advance to the next round.
Pick: AS Monaco +120.