After two winners in La Liga last night, our man in Spain Phil Kitromilides turns his eye to the Copa del Rey and explains why tonight's clash at Mestalla could be tight
The defence of their Europa League title was somewhat sacrificed with the result being Atleti winning the Copa del Rey and finishing third in the league.
This season los Rojiblancos are flying in La Liga as well as being well placed to impress in the Champions League. Their squad is talented yet not big enough to seriously compete on three fronts and with Atletico facing their biggest league game of the season at the weekend against Barcelona, expect Simeone to make some changes to his starting line up for tonight's Copa clash.
Betway offer the side from Madrid at 5/4 (2.25) to win, while Valencia under the auspices of new manager Juan Antonio Pizzi can be backed at 2/1 (3.00).
For this game though, a small investment in the draw at 23/10 (3.30) could be an excellent value bet.
Valencia have been showing signs of improvement, narrowly losing to Real Madrid and comfortably winning the derby against Levante.
This game will mean a lot to them and the Copa represents their most realistic chance of glory this season. Furthermore, they have an excellent record against Atletico at Mestalla losing just one of their last 13 home matches against them.
Atleti, meanwhile, remain a tough side to overcome regardless of any changes Diego Simeone makes to the starting line-up and while they may not have quite enough about them to beat a highly-motivated Valencia at home, they certainly are capable of not being beaten.
|The Draw at 23/10 (3.30) 0.5 point stake with Betway|
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Phil Kitromilides is a sports journalist and TV Presenter in Madrid.