It's decision day for Atalanta and Valencia as their Champions League Round of 16 tie concludes with the second leg at the Mestalla Stadium in Spain. The Italian side holds a commanding 4-1 aggregate lead heading into the decisive matchup after a dominant victory at home. Valencia have a mountain to climb if they have any shot of making the final eight of the competition.
Atalanta enter the return leg as heavy favorites have a comprehensive performance in the first 90 minutes. Goals from Hans Hateboer, Josip Ilicic and Remo Freuler have the Italians in a prime position to advance to the quarterfinals for the first time ever.
Gian Piero Gasperini's side is in flying form having won six of their last seven matches in all competitions, including a 7-2 romp away to Lecce at the weekend. It would take a massive lapse in focus and play for them to blow their huge advantage.
Things aren't looking too bright for the home side both in terms of current form and chances of pulling this tie back in their favor. Valencia were only able to manage an uninspiring 1-1 draw with Alaves in league play heading into the week. Couple that with their inability to score many goals and it's a recipe for disaster.
If the Spaniards have any chance of overcoming the three-goal deficit, they'll need their star players to rise to the occasion. Midfielder Dani Parejo is the team's linchpin as both a creative force and someone who can produce goals. The Spanish international will need to have an emphatic influence on the match for his side to complete the comeback.
Champions League Round of 16 Schedule
Tuesday, March 10, 4:00 PM ET:
RB Leipzig vs Tottenham Hotspur
Valencia vs Atalanta
Wednesday, March 11, 4:00 PM ET:
PSG vs Dortmund
Liverpool vs Atlético Madrid
Tuesday, March 17, 4:00 PM ET:
Manchester City vs Real Madrid
Juventus vs Lyon
Wednesday, March 18, 4:00 PM ET:
Barcelona vs Napoli
Bayern Munich vs Chelsea