It was less a month ago that Ernesto Valverde was staring down the barrel of a gun. His side had lost 2-0 at the Bernabeau three days previously, now at the once formidable Mestalla Stadium they were 5-0 down to the 9-time European Cup winners. And it was only half-time.
But since then he’s steadied the ship. Madrid didn’t score any more in the second half and Valencia are unbeaten in four including a draw with Barcelona and a share of the spoils in a further encounter with Jose Mourinho’s side.
Now they go into the round of 16 match against PSG in decent shape looking to defend a run of unbeaten matches against French opposition that dates back to 1980 spanning 17 matches.
But they’ll have their work cut out to overcome a PSG side that is starting to deliver on some serious investment from Qatar. They sit proudly top of Ligue 1, six points clear of Lyon and on a run of 12 wins and 1 draw in their last 13 fixtures. Fine form to take into the latter stages of this competition.
The arrival of David Beckham has added a touch of glamour to the Parisiens, as if were needed, but will it put a few noses out of joint or will a certain Mr Ibrahimovic be spurred on to prove that he’s the top dog around the French capital. The Swede is 9/5 (BetVictor) to score anytime and his pedigree at this level means that might be worth some consideration.
Trying to gauge whether a team 5th in La Liga is better than one top of Ligue 1 is a fruitless task, but I’d verge on PSG being the most impressive side, however the economics of a two-legged tie kick in and much like the other match tonight at Celtic Park I think both sides wouldn’t be too unhappy with a share of the spoils. SkyBet and Bet365 have stuck their neck out with odds of 23/10 on it being all square. The Valencia win is 6/4 at Bet365, whilst best odds on PSG are at Boylesports who go 11/5.
However the stats point to the fact that the draw is less likely than the odds suggest. In the last 3 season there have been 42 knockout ties. Only 7 of those first leg matches have finished level. That’s less than 17% and a true reflection of odds would make the draw an 9/2+ chance. In which case I’m going to side with Carlo Ancelotti’s men in the draw no bet market where Blue Sq go 6/5.
PSG Draw No Bet 6/5 Blue Sq