It is a good job that Gary Neville is personal friends with Valencia owner Peter Lim because their tight bond may buy him some time as the Bats strive for their first Spanish Primera Division win under the former television pundit.
Neville and Lim are among the celebrity partners in English Northern Premier League Premier Division team Salford and they share other business interests, including Hotel Football, a boutique property opposite Old Trafford.
Valencia has collected five points from its seven Spanish Primera Division matches under Neville and his younger brother Phil and, while the Bats have taken part in home draws against Barcelona and Real Madrid since two members of Manchester United’s famed Class of ’92 assumed control, they have struggled in several other league games, including a 2-2 result at home to relegation-threatened Vallecano.
Arguably the Spanish Primera Division’s third biggest side, Valencia does not have the most patient supporters and some of them are calling for Neville’s head already. Neville’s relationship with Lim could be either a blessing or a curse because, if Valencia continues to slide down the Spanish Primera Division ladder and the latter has to relive the former of his duties, they may be a negative impact on Salford, Hotel Football and their other projects.
Next up for Valencia in the Spanish Primera Division is a trip to higher ranked Deportivo on Sunday, just three days after the Bats participate in a Spanish Copa del Rey home leg versus Las Palmas as the quarter-final stage of that tournament kicks off. Deportivo’s recent Spanish Primera Division form is not crash hot – two draws and two losses from its last four matches – but one’s league collateral form analysis supports Super Depor being a much superior team to Valencia. Deportivo and Valencia have lined up against every other Spanish Primera Division side and, according to one’s collateral form analysis, Super Depor enjoys a 10-3-6 lead over the Bats, including a 1-1 draw when the teams locked horns at the Mestalla in August.
Bwin is quoting odds of +135 about Deportivo defeating Valencia at the Riazor and sending Valencia closer to the foot of the Spanish Primera Division ladder. Valencia will end up in a relegation battle if its form does not improve.
One does not believe that Vallecano turned the corner with its 2-2 draw at Valencia last time out so one is including Celta at odds of +150 with Betfred, to improve what is the league’s second best away record by beating its Madrid-based opponent in the capital city.
The reverse Spanish Primera Division fixture resulted in a 3-0 home win for Celta – Vallecano had Tono sent off for committing a professional foul in the ninth minute – and, according to one’s league collateral form analysis, the Sky Blues boast a 12-3-4 advantage over Rayo, including holding a 7-1-0 edge when one reviews only the games featuring the top nine sides. Vallecano has let in at least two goals in each of its last eight Spanish Primera Division matches, it has failed to win any of its last nine league games and its four top-flights victories have come at the expense of Espanyol (14th), Las Palmas (16th), Granada (17th) and Gijon (19th) – Celta is fifth, 13 points in front of Espanyol.
Barcelona is short odds – -286 with Ladbrokes – to win at Malaga on Saturday but one cannot look beyond Barca versus the Spanish Primera Division’s second lowest scoring team. Malaga’s 15 goals from its 20 Spanish Primera Division matches suggests that it does not have the attack to go toe to toe with Barcelona, which has netted 50 times in its 19 league games. According to one’s Spanish Primera Division collateral form analysis, Barcelona has a 14-2-2 lead over Malaga, including a 1-0 success at the Camp Nou in August thanks to a 73rd-minute Thomas Vermaelen goal.
Finally, here are one’s Spanish Primera Division collateral form analysis results for every one of Round 21’s 10 games. The asterisk signifies the direct head-to-head winner.
Gijon 8*-0-10 versus Sociedad
Malaga 2-2-14* versus Barcelona
Deportivo 10*-3-6 versus Valencia
Granada 4*-4-11 versus Getafe
Vallecano 4-3-12* versus Celta
Athletic 9-2-8* versus Eibar
Atletico Madrid 8*-4-7 versus Sevilla
Espanyol 4-5-10* versus Villarreal
Betis 3-3-13* versus Real Madrid
Levante 9*-0-10 versus Las Palmas
Deportivo to beat Valencia
24th January 17:15 GMT
Celta to beat Vallecano
23rd January 21:05 GMT
Barcelona to beat Malaga
23rd January 15:00 GMT
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