While Valencia could certainly make good use of the money they’ll receive if they make it into the quarterfinals of the Champions League, it’s hard to believe they can erase a 2-1 home defeat against Paris Saint-Germain, who may be still an ongoing project, but they’re simply a much better team.
For Valencia, ensuring a place in the top 4 in Spain is a much more important mission than fighting an almost lost battle in Paris. Not that they won’t try, and footballers always have belief, but the quality PSG have shown in the competition this season, not to mention since the arrival of Lucas Moura, seems to be too much for the Spanish side to handle.
But, PSG will have to be careful. Without Zlatan Ibrahimovic, this team is a very different beast, but there’s just so much quality from top to bottom in the squad, and Ezequiel Lavezzi and whoever plays next to him up front (Kevin Gameiro?) aren’t exactly something the very bad Valencia defense shouldn’t be concerned about.
History and plans are a basis for change as we all know, but Valencia have never made it through a two-leg encounter after losing the first one. Valencia haven’t been to the Champions League quarterfinal since 2007, but it’s hard to see the side breaking through a disciplines, very Italian like PSG team that will struggle with its finishing, but should do very well in closing down the middle, with Matuidi, Chantome and possibly David Beckham playing as well.
In the league, Valencia have avoided losses for quite a while, but have drawn 2-2 twice in a row against Levante and Zaragoza. Their big battle for this match will be in the middle of the park, hoping that Ever Banega wakes up on his good side, and he manages to bring his abilities both in helping the shaky defense and the attack headed by Roberto Soldado.
Predictions – Without Zlatan Ibrahimovic, it’s hard to believe PSG will be as threatening as usual, but it’s even harder seeing Valencia coming up with the kind of performance they need to produce in order to come through. A draw seems like the likeliest of results.