Neville’s Wait for League Success to End at Last

Gary Neville

Statistics drive one’s betting and, consequently, one is willing to give one last chance to Valencia, which has a must-win Spanish Primera Division home match against the only team in even worse form, Espanyol, on Saturday.

It is common knowledge that Valencia is still seeking its first Spanish Primera Division win under former Manchester United and England defender Gary Neville, who walked away from his highly acclaimed television career to take charge of a side that his business associate, Peter Lim, owns.

Valencia has taken five points from its nine Spanish Primera Division games since Neville starting picking its team and its Spanish Copa del Rey journey ended with a 1-8 aggregate loss to Barcelona, including a 0-7 defeat at the Camp Nou. Neville has made it clear that he will not accept anything less than three Spanish Primera Division points from his side’s match versus an Espanyol team that has slumped to consecutive heavy defeats – 0-6 away to Real Madrid and, more alarmingly, 0-5 at home to Sociedad. Espanyol is without a win in any of its nine games across all competitions and it is just one point above the Spanish Primera Division relegation zone following 23 rounds.

Espanyol’s Spanish Primera Division away form is terrible to say the last. Espanyol has visited eight of the Spanish Primera Division’s top nine sides – local rival and leader Barcelona is the exception – and it has crashed to eight road losses, scoring single goals in only three of those matches. Indeed, 10th-placed Malaga is the highest ranked Spanish Primera Division team that Espanyol has beaten anywhere. It is little wonder why Neville has come out and said that Valencia must defeat Espanyol this weekend.

According to one’s Spanish Primera Division collateral form analysis, Valencia holds a 12-3-4 advantage over Espanyol. Those numbers are sufficient for one to believe that there is a significant class difference between Valencia and Espanyol even though just three points separate them on the Spanish Primera Division ladder. PaddyPower is quoting Valencia at odds of -125 to end Neville’s two-month wait for a Spanish Primera Division victory. One promises never to pick a Neville-coached Valencia again if the Bats fail to beat an Espanyol side that is in an even darker space.

One likes the odds available about Eibar ending its run of three Spanish Primera Division defeats with a home victory over bottom-of-the-ladder Levante on Sunday. Totesport are offering odds of -125 about Eibar improving its Spanish Primera Division home record to 7-3-3 and that strikes one as being somewhat generous in the circumstances.

Eibar boasts a 12-4-3 Spanish Primera Division collateral form lead over Levante and it was seconds away from winning September’s reverse fixture – Deyverson equalised in the 90th minute. One is not overly concerned that Eibar has lost each of its last three Spanish Primera Division games since the Gunners have encountered second-placed Atletico Madrid, sixth-placed Athletic and rapidly rising Malaga in those matches, plus the margins flattered their opponents.

Atletico Madrid is the Spanish Primera Division’s leading away performer – its points-per-game average of 2.08 is higher than Barcelona’s 2.00 – and one’s collateral form analysis supports a punt on Diego Simeone’s team at odds of -175 with SkyBet to beat Getafe on Sunday.

Even though Atletico Madrid has a reputation for winning its Spanish Primera Division games by the narrowest of margins, the Mattressers enjoys a 13-2-4 collateral form edge over Getafe and they have won each of the last five meetings without conceding a goal – 7-0 (home), 2-0 (away), 1-0 (away), 2-0 (home) and 2-0 (home). Getafe has not found the back of Atletico Madrid’s net in any of the last 10 matches between the neighbours across various tournaments.

Finally, here are one’s Spanish Primera Division collateral form analysis results for every one of Round 24’s 10 games. The asterisk signifies the direct head-to-head winner.

Gijon 7-2-9* versus Vallecano
Real Madrid 14*2-3 versus Athletic
Villarreal 9*-4-6 versus Malaga
Valencia 12-3-4* versus Espanyol
Deportivo 9*-3-7 versus Betis
Sociedad 10*-2-7 versus Granada
Sevilla 13-2-4* versus Las Palmas
Eibar 12*-4-3 versus Levante
Getafe 4-2-13* versus Atletico Madrid
Barcelona 15-1-2* versus Celta

Tips Summary

Valencia to beat Espanyol
13th February 19:30 GMT
Odds: -125

Eibar to beat Levante
14th February 17:15 GMT
Odds: -125

Atletico Madrid to beat Getafe
14th February 17:15 GMT
Odds: -175

Atletico Madrid
Gary Neville

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