The qualifying playoffs for this year’s European Champions League group stage continue on Wednesday, August 19 with one of the best matchups being Spanish La Liga club Valencia taking on French Ligue 1 side Monaco. This contest will take place at the Estadi de Mestalla and is the first game of a two-legged tie. The aggregate winner will them advance to the tournament’s group stage. Valencia has missed the last two tournaments and are anxious to make a return this season.
Valencia vs Monaco Betting Preview
- bet365 lists Valencia as the current favorites in this game at 4/5 while Monaco is 7/2 and a draw is 5/2
Head to Head:
- The two sides met in the first round of the 1980/81 European Cup Winners’ Cup with Valencia winning 5-3 on aggregate. These two games have been the only official contests between the teams. However, they did also meet in a preseason game back in August of 2014 when they drew 2-2 at Emirates Stadium in London, England. Monaco pulled out the draw with a goal in the 81st minute of that match.
Valencia has played nine home games against French teams up to now and has managed to win eight of them. Their eight-match winning streak was halted in the 2012/13 Champions League season when Paris Saint Germain edged them by a score of 2-1. When playing in Spain, Monaco has played eight times with just one win, one draw and six defeats. The lone win came against Deportivo La Coruna back in the 2004/05 Champions League campaign and it was a big one as they shut out their opponents 5-0. It’s Monaco’s biggest-ever road win in European competition.
This is the first season both clubs are competing in the Champions League qualifying playoffs. Monaco made it to the group stage automatically last year while Valencia is attempting to return to the event after missing out the past two years. Both clubs have Portuguese managers as Nuno Espirito Santo is in charge of Valencia while Leonardo Jardim is the current Monaco boss. Monaco’s Portuguese midfielder Joao Moutinho will be appearing in his 100th UEFA club game if he reaches the pitch against Monaco.
Monaco made it to the quarterfinal stage of last year’s Champions League tournament after ousting English Premier League club Arsenal in the first knockout stage. They finished third in the French Ligue 1 though and that’s why they need to take the playoff route this year. Valencia finished in fourth place in La Liga last season and are hoping to join fellow Spanish clubs Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Sevilla and Barcelona in this year’s group stage. Valencia missed out on automatic qualification by finishing just one point behind Atletico Madrid in 2014/15. Valencia has struggled during the preseason with five straight losses.
As for Monaco, the team has lost a few players over the summer, such as Lucas Ocampos, Geoffrey Kondogbia and Yannick Ferreira Carrasco. However, Ivan Cavaleiro was acquired from Portuguese club Benfica. Monaco beat Young Boys of Switzerland in the third qualifying round in July by an aggregate of 7-1. They’ve also earned a win and a draw in their two Ligue 1 games this season and sit in sixth place. They enter this game with a six-game unbeaten streak in all competitions with four wins and two draws.
Valencia will be without first-choice goaltender Diego Alves and it means newcomer Mathew Ryan may start. In addition, Nicolas Otamendi looks doubtful for the game. Monaco appears to have a relatively healthy squad at the moment.
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