Lille v Valencia – Champions League Betting Preview and Prediction
They say hope dies last and that is exactly what Lile will be saying to themselves as they venture off into round three of Group H fixtures, where they will hope they can avoid yet another defeat. Lille will clash with Valencia this Wednesday, October 23, at Stade Pierre-Mauroy in front of their own fans, who will demand nothing less than a win. That said, Lille have never in their history defeated Valencia, who will be eager to bounce back after painful defeat against Ajax in the previous round.
Lille has the tools, but…
Les Dogues are a weird team, in a sense that they seem to have all the tools for success at their disposal, yet they don’t know how to create something meaningful. As it stands now, Lille are sitting seventh in Ligue 1, with a 4-3-3 record, which is not disastrous, yet it’s not worthy of praise either. While Christophe Galtier’s side are by no means a team who could fight for the French title, we can’t help but feel like they could do much more with the roster they have.
Looking back at Lille’s performance in the UCL group stage, the French side lost the opening fixture against Ajax in the Netherlands (3:0), to which they added a 1:2 defeat against Chelsea at home soil. There is not a lot to say about their opening fixture against Ajax, where Lille got completely outplayed. As far as the fixture against Chelsea is concerned, by looking at the 1:2 score, it would be easy to imagine Lille played well, however, a closer look reveals Chelsea won that fixture much easier than the scoreline suggests.
Lille’s UCL results are not too positive and the same can be said for what they have shown in their domestic league as well. Christophe Galtier’s side will enter Wednesday’s fixture after failing to a single match in the last five, which is not worrying on its own, and if we add the absence of Weah, Celik and Sanches to the mix, the whole situations become that much darker.
Valencia limping into round three
Valencia started their UCL campaign strong, with an impressive 0:1 win against Chelsea at the Stamford Bridge. Whether Los Che deserved to win that one is up to debate, seeing how Chelsea shot the ball 6/21 with 56% ball possession, compared to Valencia’s 2/8 shooting with 44% ball possession. Furthermore, Barkley missed a penalty for the Blues in the 87th minute. While we wondered whether Valencia are simply so good, Ajax managed to give us the answer by crushing the Spanish outfit 0:3 in front of their own fans.
On that night, both teams played well, yet it was Ajax who performed better. The Dutch outfit used their chances better, which resulted in three goals. Valencia on the other side failed to threaten the goal of the visitors and even missed a penalty in 25th minute. However, looking at how the match played out, even if Valencia had converted that penalty, we are confident Ajax would come out ahead. That said, we can’t bash Valencia too much for their defeat on that night, seeing how they were missing five players, which left them severely weakened. That, however, will change for round three fixture against Lille.
Valencia will travel to France without Rodrigo, Guedes and Piccini, but will have Gameiro, Gaya, Kondogbia and Soler available. That is a huge improvement compared to the squad which was available in the fixture against Ajax.
Verdict & Prediction
Looking at how the two sides performed so far, we have to side with Valencia as the stronger side. They might have disappointed against Ajax last round, however, as we have mentioned, they were missing quite a few players, something they don’t have to worry about here. Furthermore, Valencia’s only defeat in the last five came against Ajax, whereas Lille failed to win a single match in their last four. It’s also worth noting Valencia played very well last weekend when they drew (1:1) with Atl. Madrid at Wanda Metropolitano and if Los Che can produce anything similar here, we are confident saying they should have this one in the bag.
All in all, the visitors seem better prepared, and while this will be an away match in France, Valencia are known for playing very well on the road. In fact, they are one of the few teams which tends to perform better in away games compared to those played at home, which makes us wonder how valuable Lille’s home advantage even is. Expect Valencia to arrive at Stade Pierre-Mauroy ready to impress and walk away with at least one point.
Prediction: Valencia +0.00 Asian Handicap
Odds: 2.04 SBOBET