The Spanish Primera Division wraps up on Saturday and the best betting opportunity concerns a match between a couple of team with wildly contrasting objectives on the weekend.
Granada is 16th on the Spanish Primera Division ladder and it is one of four teams that could join Cordoba in slipping into the second tier. Granada, Deportivo, Eibar and Almeria are fighting over two places in next season’s top flight.
Atletico Madrid is third on the Spanish Primera Division ladder so it has qualified for the UEFA Champions League but, unless it fends off fourth-placed Valencia, it will have to take part in the pre-group stage round and the enormous pressure that such a two-legged tie brings.
A Spanish Primera Division draw at Granada would be enough for Atletico Madrid to shut out Valencia and the odds are that a draw would prove sufficient for the home team to stave off relegation. If Granada and Atletico Madrid draw then, for the Spanish Primera Division side that is in the same ownership group as English Championship winner Watford and Italian Serie A team Udinese to go down, either Almeria would have to beat Valencia at home or Deportivo would have to beat Barcelona on the road. Neither of those results is likely when one considers that Valencia needs three Spanish Primera Division points to guarantee qualifying for the UEFA Champions League and Barcelona is, er, the champion side.
Backtracking a little bit and one likes Valencia’s chance of winning its Spanish Primera Division game at Almeria on Saturday that has implications at both ends of the ladder.
Only an away win will guarantee that Valencia qualifies for the UEFA Champions League at the expense of a Sevilla side that has two bites at the cherry by virtue of its presence in the UEFA Europa League final. Nothing less than a home win will be of any use to Almeria either so one expects a wide-open Spanish Primera Division match between the teams ranked 19th and fourth on the ladder with one round to go.
There is a couple of reasons why one is keen to take a punt on Valencia at odds of -133 with many bookmakers, including BetVictor and Coral. First, Almeria’s predicament is bleaker than that of Valencia and one can see the desperate host leaving space for its guest to exploit on the counter. Second, Almeria’s Spanish Primera Division data versus the league’s heavyweights is appalling – it has lost each of its nine games against Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Sevilla and Valencia with a goal difference of minus 19.
Finally, Athletic has a number of ways of qualifying for the UEFA Europa League, the quickest of which is to post a home victory over Villarreal at San Mames on Saturday.
Villarreal has done remarkably well to finish the Spanish Primera Division in the top six when one considers how hard injuries have hit its relatively small squad in the second half of the season. Villarreal is 13 points behind Sevilla and eight points ahead of Athletic so it is all alone in sixth place on the Spanish Primera Division ladder and one could forgive its players from checking out mentally.
Athletic has made it through to the Spanish Copa del Rey final so it will qualify for the UEFA Europa League if it either wins the knockout competition or finishes seventh in the Spanish Primera Division. Actually, Athletic could get into the UEFA Europa League by ending up eighth on the Spanish Primera Division ladder provided that Sevilla triumphs over Dnipro in the final of this term’s event.
Unbeaten in its last six Spanish Primera Division matches, Athletic is more than fairly listed at odds of +100 with Coral to accrue three points from its date with Villarreal.
Athletic to beat Villarreal
23rd May 17:30 GMT
Where to Bet: Coral
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