Regardless of the outcome, Lille will finish their Champions League campaign at rock bottom, which is why boss Rudi Garcia is expected to make some changes to the starting line-up. Valencia still have a chance of finishing top of the group, and with Ernesto Valverde taking over the reigns last week, los Che should have enough motives to do well in France.
Difficult season for Lille
With just Eden Hazard leaving and a number of quality players arriving in the summer, Lille were tipped to continue playing at a high level this season. However, Rudi Garcia’s side experienced all sorts of problems on both domestic and European stage, and this season can already be dubbed a major failure. While four straight defeats in Champions League group stage made sure les Dogues finish bottom of their group, Lille have slipped to 10th place in the Ligue 1 standings, although they are still just five points behind third-placed Saint Etienne. With Rudi Garcia revealing his plans to fully focus on club’s league campaign, the talented boss is set to rest some of his key players in the match against Valencia, which will further damage Lille’s chances of avoiding the fifth defeat in group stage.
Benoit Pedretti and Djibril Sidibe are both suspended, while Tulio de Melo is sidelined through injury. Ryan Mendes could play some part after recovering from an ankle problem.
New beginning for Valencia
Valencia have played some great football this season, especially in the Champions League, but, despite the bright start to the league campaign, los Che struggled to remain close to the Champions League places. Following two embarrassing defeats to Malaga and Real Sociedad, boss Mauricio Pellegrino was sacked from the post, with former Espanyol boss Ernesto Valverde taking over the reigns. If nothing, the change of coach should improve the atmosphere in the squad and make the players give their best in an attempt to earn their place in the starting line-up. With los Che very motivated to make amends for the dismal run of results and prove their worth in Europe, Valencia have got to be considered favourites to win at Grand Stade Lille Metropole.
Sergio Canales and Jeremy Matheiu are out injured, while Roberto Soldado and Antonio Barragan miss out through suspension.
It is already clear that Lille will sacrifice this game in order to fully focus on their Ligue 1 campaign, giving Valencia an excellent opportunity to return to winning ways. Los Che are expected to field a very strong line-up that should prove good enough to win in Lille.
Top pick: Valencia Draw no bet 1.73 (8/11) @ SkyBet
Alternative pick 1: Away win 2.45 (29/20) @ BetVictor
Alternative pick 2: Over 2.5 goals 1.85 (17/20) @ bet365