Athletic Bilbao v Sporting Lisbon, 20:05
A tense but exciting first leg in Lisbon was won by the Portuguese outfit, but by the slimmest of margins and with an away goal conceded. Bilbao are a side with masses of quality and potential, but the tactical nous of the Lisbon players and manager will make this a much harder game than their earlier ties, which they won fairly easily. Sporting will have noted from other European ties this week that goals already scored become more valuable as games go on and the tension rises, and with key attacking players returning to the team they have the quality to hit their hosts on the break.
Athletic Bilbao midfielder Oscar De Marcos is suspended, but Iker Muniain and Javi Martinez should return, as will Fernando Llorente, who was rested for most of the last Liga match. Sporting are without Russian playmaker Marat Izmailov, who is suspended. He will be replaced either by Andre Martins or Jeffren. Chile midfielder Matias Fernandez is also set to return after two games out injured, but Rinaudo and Alberto Rodriguez are out. You can get 88/25 with BetFair on Llorente to score first if you fancy his chances.
Valencia v Atletico Madrid, 20:05
The Valencia coach Unai Emery has made all the right noises ahead of this game, but the reality of trying to overturn the 4-2 loss in the first leg is a very sobering one. The manager at the Mestalla looks to be leaving his post in the summer, with his contract set to expire and the club talking about replacements, so he’ll want to go out on a high, but if he can mastermind a win it will be a truly herculean effort. Atletico will be frustrated after their performance in the first leg, as they dominated their opponents for pretty much the whole game, only to be picked off twice by sharp attackers, and will want to be more alert tonight.
Valencia are expected to stick with the same team that thrashed Real Betis 4-0 at the weekend, except Diego Alves will replace Vicente Guaita in goal, as he has done in the cup competitions this season. The home side have four players back from suspension in Tino Costa, Jeremy Mathieu, Aritz Aduriz and Pablo Hernandez – with Ever Banega the only injury. Atletico have a close to fully fit squad, with only Silvio Azevedo and Antonio Lopez injured, and Fran Merida cup-tied. Ladbrokes have 10/3 on Valencia winning by a one-goal margin, which wouldn’t be enough to take them through, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a fair few scored.