The UEFA Europa League is Celta’s focus because its Spanish Primera Division campaign is on a road to nowhere so one is keen to bet against the Sky Blues at Malaga on Sunday.
Celta rested almost all its regular starters for its Spanish Primera Division match at home to Athletic last weekend and the result was a 0-3 loss for the Sky Blues. With a spot in next season’s UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League glory up for grabs, Celta has been paying lip service to the Spanish Primera Division for several weeks – five defeats from its last six league starts says it all – and putting all its energy into UEFA’s secondary club competition. One does not blame Celta because the Spanish Primera Division is top heavy and eighth place is the highest position that the Sky Blues can secure and that does not boast a reward.
Malaga is the same boat as Celta – it cannot qualify for Europe via the Spanish Primera Division or experience relegation – but the Anchovies are in decent form and, on home turf, they are likely to field their strongest possible side. Malaga has won five of its last six Spanish Primera Division games, including back-to-back-to-back home wins over Barcelona, Valencia and Sevilla. According to one’s Spanish Primera Division collateral form analysis, Malaga and Celta are tied at 9-1-9 but the Anchovies lead the Sky Blues 5-1-0 against the top six teams, signifying that the former are probably better than the latter in spite of the ladder suggesting that the opposite is the case.
Ladbrokes are offering odds of -189 about Malaga beating Celta in their Spanish Primera Division clash and one is content to take that price because the Sky Blues will be backing up 72 hours after facing Manchester United in the UEFA Europa League and their second leg versus the Red Devils will take place next week. Celta is extremely likely to field its second stringers domestically again.
Winning is all that matters when Real Madrid tackles Granada on Saturday but one thinks that Paddy Power is going too far in offering odds of +140 about the Meringues winning to nil.
The state of Real Madrid’s UEFA Champions League semi-final tie against Atletico Madrid means that the Meringues can concentrate on its Spanish Primera Division assignment versus a Granada team that cannot avoid relegation. The quality gap between Real and Granada is massive – according to one’s Spanish Primera Division collateral form analysis, the Meringues boast an 18-1-0 advantage over the Nasrids. And Granada has failed to score in 13 of its 35 Spanish Primera Division matches, including January’s reverse fixture that resulted in a 5-0 home victory for Real.
Odds of +140 equate to a probability percentage of 41.67 and, in all seriousness, one thinks that if Real Madrid played this Granada side 100 times on the road with the former having everything for which to play and the latter being consigned to its fate already, the Meringues would keep a clean sheet and win more than 42 times. Paddy Power is not going to be able to stand its odds of +140 forever.
One is picking at least one of Alaves and Athletic not to score in Sunday’s Basque derby, an option that is trading at odds of -109 with BetVictor. Of the 17 Spanish Primera Division games that Alaves has played at home, 11 of them have gone under two and a half goals and nine of them have featured a clean sheet. No team has scored fewer Spanish Primera Division home goals than Alaves and, for a side ranked sixth, Athletic is far from prolific on its travels. Athletic has failed to score in six of its 17 Spanish Primera Divison away matches, averaging fewer than one goal per road game. Alaves and Athletic drew 0-0 when they met in Spanish Primera Division action in Bilbao four months ago.
Malaga to beat Celta Vigo
Sunday 7th May, 19:45 GMT
Real Madrid to win to nil
Saturday 6th May, 19:45 GMT
Alaves v Bilbao – Both teams to score NO
Sunday 7th May, 11:00 GMT
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