After a minor loss last week due to what can only be described as dreadful luck, I’m looking to get back to winning ways with one of the best bundles of bets I’ve seen all season.
Celta Vigo v Valencia (5:00pm)
In my opinion, Celta Vigo are one of the most unlucky and underrated sides in the league. Looking at the league table and their results, some may say that they’ve deserved their 18th spot but I think their performances (especially in attacking regions) have been far better than any statistic can suggest. Admittedly, they’ve been poor on the road with 10 defeats from their 12 matches, but have put in a better stint at home, with only 2 defeats from 10 (Betis and Malaga). They welcome back Augusto Fernandez and Krohn-Dehli from suspension which should give them a lot of the attacking impetus they lacked against Osasuna. Valencia on the other hand have also shown stark improvements of late, grabbing a draw against Barcelona being the tip of an impressive run of form. They have however been a poor away side, losing 5 of 10, with even their better results heavily influenced by an extremely lucky win against Deportivo a couple of weeks back. In addition, they play Champions League football midweek and may have one eye on their game versus Paris Saint-Germain. In summary, the handicap line for Celta is far too generous here; I would have expected to have to take a -0.25, thus am greatly attracted to the push line on offer at respectable odds.
Levante v Malaga (7:00pm)
Super Levante. Over the last season and a half, they’ve been one of my most profitable teams to handicap due to what is, in my eyes, consistent mispricing from the bookmakers. Their home record this season has been immense, with only two losses against Real Madrid and Barcelona, claiming scalps such as Valencia along the way. They have shown on multiple occasions that they aren’t afraid of sitting deep in their own half with 30% possession and counter attacking all game, which they have done to great effect. Key defender Sergio Ballesteros looks set to return after missing his first game through injury in more than four years and new signing Robert Acquafresca is also fit and could be used to support or replace Obafemi Martins. Malaga have been very good this season in terms of performances, but have gone off the boil ever so slightly of late. Home draws to Celta and Zaragoza either side of a nervy 3-2 win against Mallorca represent the slight downfall of the Andalusian club. Like Valencia, they also have a pretty poor away record having W4-D3-L3 of their 10 away games. Also like Valencia, they play midweek in the Champions League and their priorities may lie elsewhere.
Real Madrid v Sevilla (9:00pm)
Looking at the prices for this game, it’s clear there’s been a major overreaction to Real Madrid’s loss against lowly Granada last weekend. They have performed fantastically well at home this season, winning 8/10 (despite this public perception of them being ‘dreadful), with 7 of these 8 victories being by at least 2 goals. Sevilla on the other hand are a poor away side having only won 1 of their 11 games. They lost 2-0 vs. Valencia and 4-0 vs. Atletico in a comparison of performance against other good sides. In addition, early team news for Sevilla is very poor with Trochowski, Rakitic and Perotti out; they are therefore missing all of their creative attacking midfielders meaning chances will be at a premium. If Real Madrid are playing at full strength, then the handicap on offer is almost a no brainer. Even with poor motivation and Champions League football to be played, Real Madrid should easily turn over a weakened Sevilla side. However, Mourinho may choose to rest some of his key players and thus this is a very team news motivated bet – if team news is poor, I will definitely not be placing it. Stay tuned to my Twitter account before the game and I will confirm whether we are in a good enough position to accept or not.
James’ Spanish Football Tips:
Celta Vigo v Valencia – Celta Vigo +0.00 (2.08 Pinnacle)
Levante v Malaga – Levante +0.00 (1.90 Pinnacle)
Real Madrid v Sevilla – **Real Madrid -1.50 (2.1 Pinnacle)**
**IMPORTANT: Do not place the Real Madrid bet without confirmed team news, as Mourinho may/may not rest players for this match. I will confirm whether to place this bet or not via Twitter (roughly 30 mins before this game). If not taken, this bet will NOT be included in results or profit/loss.