Bilbao’s domestic and continental campaigns are in crisis and the last assignment that a team on the ropes wants is an away match against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Drawn against last season’s Italian Serie A bronze medallist Napoli in the UEFA Champions League preliminaries, Bilbao qualified for the group stage with a 4-2 aggregate victory and then won its first Spanish Primera Division home game, defeating Levante 3-0. But it has downhill for Bilbao ever since, with its hopes of UEFA Champions League last 16 not very good after two rounds and its Spanish Primera Division prospects equally bleak following a series of bad results.
Bilbao has taken only one point from its last five Spanish Primera Division games and, while one can excuse losing 0-2 at Barcelona, it is difficult to gloss over losing 0-1 at home to Granada and drawing 0-0 with Eibar at San Mames. Bilbao boss Ernesto Valverde knows that his side is not playing well and, worryingly, he sounds like a manager who does not know what to do about it. The former Bilbao striker is coaching on borrowed time unless results improve soon.
Real Madrid started slowly, perhaps unsurprisingly for a team with so many new faces, but it has hit form with a vengeance, its latest victory being a 2-1 UEFA Champions League win at Ludogorets even though Cristiano Ronaldo missed the first of his two first-half penalty kicks.
Bilbao has already played a Spanish Primera Division road match versus one of the big three sides – its aforementioned 0-2 loss at Barcelona in which Neymar scored both of Barca’s goals – and one thinks that it will suffer a similar losing margin at Real Madrid. Sky Bet is offering odds of -161 that Real Madrid covers a one-goal handicap successfully, a feat that it has achieved in 11 of its 14 Spanish Primera Division home games this year – all its 11 victories.
Barcelona’s Spanish Primera Division assignment in the seventh round of matches is an away game at Rayo Vallecano and one thinks that Barca minus one goal at odds of -137 with many bookmakers, including Bet365 and Paddy Power, is the best bet in what should an open encounter.
Rayo Vallecano is one of the Spanish Primera Division teams that likes to give as good as it gets whenever it takes on one of the heavyweights but its defensive statistics are insufficiently good to fight fire with fire. Rayo Vallecano has conceded 10 goals in its last five Spanish Primera Division matches and last term it has the worst defensive record of any top-flight team, leaking 80 goals in its 38 games, two more even than bottom-of-the-ladder Betis.
Barcelona won its two Spanish Primera Division matches against Rayo Vallecano last season by a cumulative 10-0 score and each of the six league meetings of the sides in the 2010s has resulted in a Barca win by at least two goals. Incredibly, the aggregate score favours Barcelona 29-1.
Finally, one should always take note of odds-against quotes about a Spanish Primera Division team at home to Cordoba so Getafe makes one’s list at odds of +105 with BetVictor.
As one has noted a few times already this term, Cordoba does not deserve to be in the Spanish Primera Division and it is not going to stick around for more than one season unless it lifts its game considerably in the next few months. Cordoba is bottom of the Spanish Primera Division ladder with three goals scored and three points accrued from six rounds.
Getafe finished 13th in the Spanish Primera Division last term, which means that it ended the season 14 places above Cordoba on the Spanish football pyramid. Getafe has won its two winnable Spanish Primera Division home games this season – Almeria 1-0 and Malaga 1-0 – and it should be trading at the other side of evens to beat Cordoba in what, on paper, is the easiest of its 38 league fixtures this term.
Real Madrid -1 to beat Bilbao
5th October 20:00 GMT
Where to Bet: Sky Bet
Getafe to beat Cordoba
3rd October 20:00 GMT
Where to Bet: BetVictor
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