Genk vs Valencia

September 12, 2011
By: John Hansen

With even the players themselves admitting that they have only come up against teams like Valencia, Chelsea and Bayer Leverkusen on PlayStation, Genk clearly have little to hope for from their opening Champions League fixture. Los Che have already hit the ground running in Spanish La Liga and they are seen as major favourites in this clash.

Lady Luck keeps smiling on Genk

Seeing that Genk had beaten sides like Anderlecht, Standard Liege and Club Brugge to the  Belgian Pro Jupiler League title last term, I believed that this team had enough potential to make their mark in Europe. However, after watching them play Partizan Belgrade in Champions League qualifying rounds, I am pretty sure they will drop out at the group stage without recording a single win. Genk were very lucky to beat the Serbian champions in the first leg at home, after being completely outclassed by their opponents, while they were also very fortunate to avoid defeat in the return leg, with the hosts missing plenty of clear-cut chances. The Belgian champions then eliminated Maccabi Haifa on penalties to reach the Champions League group stage, but unless they show a considerable improvement in this game, Valencia will show them just where they stand when Europe’s top competition is concerned.

Important defender Torben Joneleit is out through injury, while striker Marvin Ogunjimi is available after his transfer to Mallorca fell through.

Valencia already on fire

Following the third-place finish in the previous La Liga campaign, Valencia chiefs were determined to keep the squad competitive and despite selling Juan Manuel Mata to Chelsea, los Che look even stronger than last term. Diego Alves, Adil Rami, Dani Parejo, Pablo Piatti, Sergio Canales, Antonio Barragan and Victor Ruiz all arrived this summer, and it looks as though talented coach Unai Emery has already managed to integrate the new signings into his side. Opening wins over Racing Santander and very good Atletico Madrid side have shown that Valencia are virtually on top of their game, so they really should have no problems against one of the weakest sides in the competition. Being one of the best counterattacking sides in Europe, los Che have been very successful on European travels, and it is highly unlikely that their good away record will be worsened after the Genk game.

Jonas and Tino Costa didn’t make the trip to Belgium, but Dani Parejo and Sofiane Feghouli return to contention. Bruno Saltor, Angel Dealbert and Antonio Barragan are also unavailable.


Having largely struggled against Partizan Belgrade and Maccabi Haifa, Genk look desperately short of quality needed to match a side like Valencia, so I just can’t look beyond los Che here. The Spaniards are few classes above Genk and they should be able to record a comfortable win.

Our prediction: Valencia with -1 Asian handicap

Odds: 2.30 (13/10)

Bookmaker: 188BET

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