Valencia vs Atletico Madrid predictions: Hosts no match for Simeone's side
Valencia and Atletico Madrid have both started the new LaLiga campaign with one win and one defeat from their first two matches and a high-octane match is expected at the Mestalla in the 9pm kick-off on Monday night.
Last season was underwhelming for Atletico, who were unable to defend their title as they finished 15 points behind Real Madrid in third, while Valencia are at the start of a new era under manager Gennaro Gattuso.
Valencia will once again be light on options at the back with defenders Eray Comert and Jose Gaya unavailable due to suspensions.
Atletico Madrid also have a player unavailable due to suspension after Nahuel Molina was sent off against Villarreal last time out.
Defender Stefan Savic picked up a thigh injury in that same game and could be replaced by Jose Gimenez at the back.
Alvaro Morata and Joao Felix can be expected to again lead the line for the visitors.
Valencia were pretty unimpressive in LaLiga last season and managed to win just six of their 19 home league contests, admittedly while losing only five.
They could also be lacking in the final third for much of this season given that they allowed forward Goncalo Guedes, who netted 13 goals in all competitions in 2021-22, to leave for Wolves.
Atletico's defensive strength waned last term as they conceded 43 goals in their 38 matches in LaLiga — their highest tally since Simeone took charge as manager.
Both of these sides head into the game at the Mestalla on the back of disappointing defeats but Atletico at least had chances in their 2-0 loss against Villarreal.
Villarreal's goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli pulled off a number of top saves to deny Atletico in that contest and it is fair to say they controlled the tempo of the game.
Morata and Felix were linking up well and Villarreal only grabbed their second goal of the game in the 97th minute after Molina had been sent off for the Madrid club.
Overall they still look a much stronger side than Valencia, who finished 23 points behind them in LaLiga's standings last term.
Gattuso will, of course, take time to implement his methods on the club but they only edged Girona 1-0 in their opener before losing to Athletic Bilbao by the same scoreline and it is clear scoring goals could be a problem this season.
Losing 13-goal forward Guedes to Wolves was not ideal and, even if Atletico's defence is not what it once was, Valencia could still have their work cut out finding a way through.
A win for Atletico Madrid looks the most likely result in this contest at the Mestalla, where Simeone's men were on course for victory last season before conceding in the 92nd and 96th minutes to draw the match 3-3.
Only Real Madrid, Barcelona and Real Betis had better away records in LaLiga last season than Atletico Madrid, who can heap more misery on Gattuso and his side.