Emery braced for “biggest game”

Valencia coach Unai Emery has described Thursday’s Europa League semi-final second leg home clash against Atletico Madrid (Valencia 21/20, Atletico Madrid 13/5, Draw 12/5 Match Betting) as “the biggest game of my career”.

Los Che (6/1 Europa League Outright) go in the match at Estadio Mestalla trailing 4-2 from last week’s first leg and with it all to do if they are going to book their place in the final against either Athletic Bilbao or Sporting Lisbon in Bucharest.

However, Emery feels Ricardo Costa’s 94th-minute goal at the Vicente Calderon has greatly enhanced their chances of overturning the deficit in front of their own fans with a 2-0 win (9/1 Correct Score) against their La Liga rivals good enough to see them progress due to the away goals ruling.

“It’s the biggest game of my career,” Emery said. “It also is for many of our players. We have to not get anxious and ensure that we do the best job possible with only the match on our minds.

“The team have been inconsistent, and we have encountered bad games away from home, while we have fared better at home. In our last five home games, we have scored four goals, but what’s different this time round? Atletico are our strongest rivals.”

“Costa’s late goal was invaluable to our first-leg result,” he added. “However, Atletico also have the potential to score two as they showed in Hannover and against Besiktas.

“It is a challenge because we did not earn a result in Madrid. We start at a disadvantage and we need everyone to give their utmost. The fans who will fill the stadium will act as the 12th man.”

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