La Liga Trading Focus 18th-19th Feb

Game week 23

Latest posts by Steve Taylor (see all)

Saturday 13.00 Sporting Gijon v Atletico Madrid 

A big win for Sporting Gijon last week away at one of their relegation rivals Leganes but this is a whole different ball game. Atletico Madrid are now in much better form after a poor run earlier in the season and are unbeaten in seven, suffering just one defeat in their last five away games. Games in Gijon this season have produced goals, nine of ten were Over 2.5 goals with the last five being Over 3.5 goals. Three of Atletico’s last five away were also Over 2.5 goals and they seemed to have opened up a little bit in recent weeks, not always settling for a single goal win as was their way last season.  Those who like current stats will go with goals and an away win but the recent head to head makes interesting reading.

There has been no away win in the last ten head to head which does not bode well for Atletico especially when you consider that they have not won on their last four visits here, two of the four were draws.  Atletico are clearly the best side and the most likely to win but would you bet them at 1.53? As there has been a home goal in the last eleven meetings today, a Gijon goal in the last five head to head here and given that Gijon have scored in nine of ten home games, we have to assume they will score here. That means Atletico would need two goals to win and I would far rather take the Evs (2.0) about Over 2.5 goals which would land given that scenario, but also giving us other options, particularly trading.

 Saturday 15.15 Real Madrid v Espanyol

 Just a brief look at this as Real will win but how easily? They have won the last six head to head by 24 to 2 and the last five in Madrid by 6-0, 3-0, 3-1, 2-2 and 5-0.They are unbeaten at home with nine wins and two draws and have scored in every game but have keep only three clean sheets. Espanyol have scored in all but two away winning four and drawing three of ten on the road. It looks another simple win for Real and it might be worth chancing them -2 on the handicap at around 2.20 although they would have completed this only four times in eleven home matches this season. It is not an easy ask but if they score early they can overrun the visitors. I much prefer chancing Both Teams To Score here as Espanyol have scored in their last eight matches and at Evs (2.0) it has to be a better option.

Saturday 19.45 Sevilla v Eibar

 Not a lot of past form to go on here, just five meetings today at this level with three draws and two Sevilla wins. Four of those games were Under 2.5 goals. Eibar have been sensational this season and sit in 7th place just four places behind the hosts and are in top form with four wins in their last five games. They have scored fourteen goals in those four wins. Sevilla are unbeaten in four at home and have lost only once at home this season, to Barcelona. Sevilla to win but they may have an eye on Leicester in the Champions League in midweek and Eibar could be dangerous. Surely there must be goals in this one so I’m going to take a bit of a chance with Over 3.5 goals for a smaller stake at 6/4 (2.50)

Sunday 11.00 Real Sociedad v Villarreal

Something will have to give here between the sides sitting fifth and sixth respectively, both with realistic chances of at least Europa League football next season if not Champions League. Real Sociedad bring solid home farm into the game, losing only to Sevilla and Real Madrid, and have won seven of eleven. Villarreal are organised and very tough to breakdown away (Three 0-0 draws in their last four away games) they have drawn six of ten away, eight of those ten Under 2.5 goals backing up the tough to breakdown theory. On current form it is very difficult to split these two. In the Copa Del Rey in January Sociedad won 3-1 at home and drew 1-1 away to qualify.

Head to head in the last eight, Villarreal have won five and drawn three, four were Under and four were Over 2.5 goals. Head to head in San Sebastian in the last four sees two draws and two away wins for Villarreal

Sociedad have only failed to score at home in the two home games that they lost so are pretty consistent. This is a tough call, on stats Real Sociedad should score but Villarreal have kept a clean sheet in just under 50% of games, five of ten away. Past form versus current form and I have to just go with Villarreal not to lose opening up a couple of options, Lay Sociedad or play the Unders. Percentage call is Lay Sociedad as I think it will be a draw, possibly 1-1.

 Sunday 15.15 Valencia v Athletic Bilbao

What can we say about Valencia, a once great club who have now been suffering for two seasons, mid table last year and hovering above the relegation zone this season. Every time they look like they have turned the corner with a couple of better performances then they throw in a run of shockers. Valencia are 15th?with Athletic Bilbao in 8th?and the Basque side have had much the better of the season so far and of recent meetings today. In the last eight head to head, Valencia have not won, there have been four draws and four Bilbao wins. In Valencia the last four meetings today have seen one home win, two draws and an away win.

Valencia have won only five all season, only two at home. Fifteen of their twenty one games have been Over 2.5 goals, seven of nine at home went Over. Valencia have also conceded in all home games. Athletic are much stronger at home than away which gives Valencia a chance. They have won just two away with two draws. They have failed to score in four of their last five away so perhaps they will break that run against such a poor defence.

Again tough to call, this could be one of those games where Valencia astound everyone by turning up but can you afford to risk your hard earned at 2.30? I’m going to suggest Over 2.5 goals but wait fifteen minutes as neither are prolific scorers early on. That will ensure a better price and if we get an early goal we just leave it alone.

One interesting stat to throw in for traders. Valencia have conceded 21 goals at home, seven of those in the last fifteen minutes. Athletic have conceded 14 goals away from home, four in the last fifteen minutes and have scored four of their seven away goals in that period too. A chance to Lay the correct score at 75 minutes where the stats suggest a late goal is likely.




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