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Bilbao Too Athletic For Lethargic Espanyol

February 12, 2014

Ander HerreraBilbao is one of only two Spanish Primera Division sides that is unbeaten at home this term – the other is neither Barcelona nor Real Madrid but Atletico Madrid – and it is the best value bet on this weekend’s 10-match program.

Several bookmakers, including Bet365, Boylesports and Sky Bet, are offering odds of 1.57 that Bilbao defeats Espanyol at San Mames to improve its Spanish Primera Division home record to 10 victories and three draws. Bilbao is in pole position to join Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Real Madrid as Spain’s representatives in next season’s UEFA Champions League, sitting four points ahead of fifth-placed Valencia.

One of the major reasons why Espanyol is not in contention for one of Spain’s six spots in the various UEFA-controlled competitions is its poor away record. Espanyol has the worst Spanish Primera Division road numbers of any team in the top 15 having won two, drawn three and lost six of its 11 away matches. Even against lower-league opposition in the Spanish Copa del Rey, Espanyol has failed to register a road victory this term. That says it all about Espanyol’s away-day woes.

One does not fancy over two and a half goals in the Spanish Primera Division game between Bilbao and Espanyol – backing the home side to win is a much better play – but followers of trends will be interested to know that the fixture has a long history of being action packed. Each of the last eight top-flight meetings of Bilbao and Espanyol has gone over two and a half goals, with each of the last four clashes going over three and a half goals. Incredibly, Espanyol has scored at least three goals in its last four matches versus Bilbao.

Levante’s Spanish Primera Division home game against Almeria is one that has the potential to be low scoring so backing under two and a half goals at odds of 1.70 with BetVictor.

Thirteen of Levante’s 23 Spanish Primera Division matches have gone under two and a half goals. Levante’s 11 home games in the elite division have been particularly light on for goals, with just 20 being scored and five of them were when free-wheeling Real Madrid came to town and won 3-2. Seven of Levante’s 11 home matches in the top flight have gone under two and a half goals and, when one is looking for an under bet, a home team that neither scores nor concedes many goals is the number one thing for what one searches.

More of Almeria’s Spanish Primera Division away games have gone over two and a half goals than under the mark but one will see that the matches that have gone over have been, by and large, versus the division’s heavyweights. Levante is a middleweight at best and, therefore, one likes the under.

Finally, Getafe’s form is so bad that Real Madrid, even though it must cope with Cristiano Ronaldo as he serves the second game of his three-match Spanish Primera Division ban, looks like a banker bet at odds of 1.33 with Ladbrokes. The Magic Sign seems willing to take a chance on Real away from home and one could understand that if it was not for the truly awful number of the side welcoming the Meringues.

Getafe is without a win in any competition since December, losing seven and drawing two of its last nine games. Indeed, Getafe has beaten only one fellow Spanish Primera Division team since November, whereas Real Madrid has not lost since going down 1-2 to Barcelona at the Camp Nou 25 matches ago.

Real Madrid bounced back from leaking a very early goal in the reverse Spanish Primera Division fixture to triumph 4-1 and, as the top side in the league’s six-game form ladder goes up against the bottom side, Ladbrokes may end up regretting taking a stand on the in-form away team.

About the author

Eric Roberts
Eric Roberts

Sports Journalist

Eric has been a sports journalist for over 20 years and has travelled the world covering top sporting events for a number of publications. He also has a passion for betting and uses his in-depth knowledge of the sports world to pinpoint outstanding odds and value betting opportunities.