Derby delight for Villarreal at needy neighbour


Villarreal is the team that leaps off the Spanish Primera Division coupon for the 17th round of games because of its significant collateral form edge over cellar dweller Elche and the surprisingly big odds that bookmakers are listing.

Of the 10 Spanish Primera Division matches on the program as the competition resumes after its brief winter break, it is the one between Elche and Villarreal that throws up the best betting opportunity, mainly because of one’s collateral form analysis that highlights the gap between the two sides is even greater than the ladder’s 15 places and 20 points.

Elche and Villarreal have had 15 common Spanish Primera Division opponents and one’s view is that 11 of those collateral lines favour the Yellow Submarine, one favours the Green-striped Ones and three favour neither team.

Usually one is not mad keen to bet on the results of derby games but one is willing to make an exception for Villarreal against Elche. Villarreal is unbeaten in its last 10 matches across all competitions, winning eight, including seven in a row since drawing 2-2 at home to Monchengladbach in the UEFA Europa League. Elche has lost each of its last four Spanish Primera Division games, scoring one goal in those matches. And Villarreal has demonstrated time and time again that it wins the Spanish Primera Division games for which it is the favourite and loses those for which it is the underdog.

Elche and Villarreal have played each other regularly over the last 12 months or so, clashing five times in league and cup competitions. Villarreal has won two and drawn three of its five recent matches against Elche, with both of its wins occurring on the road. If Villarreal is serious about UEFA Champions League football next term, it must resume with a victory over the Spanish Primera Division’s bottom side, and at odds of 1.80 with Bet365 and Bwin, it’s too good to turn down.

Malaga won 2-1 at Elche before the Spanish Primera Division broke up for Christmas and it is one’s second best play at odds of -189  with BetVictor and Ladbrokes to get the better of relegation-threatened Almeria at La Rosaleda.

Almeria has the most impressive away record out of the teams below halfway on the Spanish Primera Division ladder but one is willing to oppose the 16th-positioned side based on one’s collateral form analysis. Malaga and Almeria have had 15 common Spanish Primera Division foes and one’s view is that eight of those collateral form lines favour the Anchovies, one favours the Red and Whites and six favour neither team.

Malaga has won each of its last four games across all competitions and, while Almeria’s Spanish Primera Division road record is 3-1-4, it has visited only one side ranked higher than the seventh-placed Anchovies and it lost that match, going down 0-2 at Villarreal two months ago.

One is not interested in either Barcelona or Real Madrid given the markets on their Spanish Primera Division games but one likes the look of Atletico Madrid versus Levante, particularly the look of the odds about a home win to nil.

BetVictor and Boylesports are offering odds of -137  about Atletico Madrid, which boasts the fourth stingiest defence in the Spanish Primera Division, beating and shutting out a Levante team that has the league’s third weakest attack. In terms of Spanish Primera Division collateral form, Atletico and Levante have had 14 common opponents, with one’s view that 11 of those form lines favour the champion, one favours the 15th-ranked side and two favour neither team.

Finally, the pick of the Spanish Primera Division exotics is likely to be Bilbao to have more corner kicks than Deportivo in their match at the Riazor. Bilbao has attacked 87 corner kicks and defended 66 corner kicks in its 16 Spanish Primera Division games, whereas Deportivo’s numbers are 61 and 94 respectively. Bet365 are offering +100  and one thinks that’s a reasonable price.

Tips Summary

Villarreal to beat Elche
3rd January 19:00 GMT
Odds:  -125
Where to Bet: Bet365Bwin

Malaga to beat Almeria
3rd January 21:00 GMT
Odds:  -189
Where to Bet: BetVictor, Ladbrokes

Atletico Madrid to beat Levante to nil
3rd January 15:00 GMT
Odds:  -137
Where to Bet: BetVictorBoylesports

Bilbao to have more corners than Deportivo
3rd January 21:00 GMT
Odds:  +100
Where to Bet: Bet365

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