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One is eating a healthy serving of humble pie while writing this Spanish Primera Division preview because Celta did not just beat Barcelona on Wednesday – Celta thrashed Barcelona.
There were legitimate questions about the value of Celta’s Spanish Primera Division form because the Sky Blues had been the beneficiaries of refereeing decisions in its early games against Levante (reduced to 10 men in the fifth minute), Rayo (reduced to 10 men in the ninth minute) and Las Palmas (reduced to 10 men in the 11th minute). That Celta failed to overcome Las Palmas at its Balaidos home only intensified one’s doubts about the merits of Eduardo Berizzo’s team.
But as Barcelona’s former Celta coach, Luis Enrique, said in the aftermath of Wednesday’s Spanish Primera Division match, the Sky Blues were good value for their 4-1 home win over last term’s domestic and continental champion. Nolito scored one goal and set up the brace that Iago Aspas bagged to put Celta three goals to the good inside 56 minutes from which there was no way back for Barcelona. There is a danger that Celta may experience a letdown following its 4-1 bashing of Barcelona but one is willing to take odds against that the Sky Blues kick on from their Wednesday win and beat Eibar.
Celta dominated both of its Spanish Primera Division games versus Eibar last season and it is a mystery as to how the Sky Blues did not collect all six points that were up for grabs. Celta had 15 corner kicks to Eibar’s one in the Spanish Primera Division match between the sides at the Balaidos but the Gunners fired the game’s only goal with their only attempt on target. Celta did manage to accrue three points from its subsequent Spanish Primera Division visit to Eibar in which it led the corner-kick count 9-1, Nolito netting the match-winning goal from the penalty spot.
Several bookmakers, including Bet365 and Bwin, are offering odds of +110 about Celta getting the better of Eibar on Saturday and guaranteeing itself at least a share of the Spanish Primera Division lead at the end of the sixth round. Eibar does not have the firepower to go toe to toe with Celta if the Sky Blues continue their scoring form.
Villarreal has a history of falling short against the really big boys of the Spanish Primera Division and, therefore, one is interested in backing Atletico Madrid to get something out of Saturday’s game at El Madrigal. Bet365 is offering odds of -227 about Atletico not to lose and that is a good price in view of Villarreal’s record versus the top teams.
Last term, Villarreal lost each of its Spanish Primera Division home matches against Atletico Madrid (0-1), Barcelona (0-1), Real Madrid (0-2), Sevilla (0-2) and Valencia. Villarreal did manage to beat Atletico in Madrid but it was a classic smash-and-grab job for which the Yellow Submarine ought to have been charged with daylight robbery.
Malaga has yet to score a Spanish Primera Division goal this season so SkyBet is taking a risk in offering odds of -110 about the Anchovies losing at Real Madrid on Saturday and failing to rustle the onion bag for the sixth game in a row. Surely if Real Madrid played Malaga in 100 Spanish Primera Division matches at the Santiago Bernabeu it would win to nil more than 52 times. One thinks that odds of -200 would not be out of place given the composition of the two sides.
Finally, keep out an eye out for odds about a red card in the Spanish Primera Division derby between Sociedad and Athletic on Sunday. Bookmakers are slow to frame such markets but players went sent off in both of last term’s Spanish Primera Division games between the Basque rivals.
Celta to beat Eibar
26th September 21:05 GMT
Atletico to win/draw v Villarreal
26th September 19:30 GMT
Real Madrid to beat Malaga to nil
26th September 17:15 GMT
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