Six months ago, Bilbao was celebrating qualifying for the UEFA Champions League and watching Atletico Madrid prove that it is possible for a team to stop either Barcelona or Real Madrid winning the Spanish Primera Division title.
But life has gone pear shaped for Bilbao since May, with it stuck on the bottom half of the Spanish Primera Division ladder and unable to reach the UEFA Champions League group stage even though there are two matchdays remaining. The best for which Bilbao can hope in Europe is that pips BATE to the spot in the last 32 of the UEFA Europa League.
Bilbao’s UEFA Champions League chance evaporated when it lost 0-2 at home to Porto on Wednesday. Next on the agenda for Bilbao’s surely crestfallen side is a Spanish Primera Division road trip to Valencia, one of the toughest away assignments in the league. Valencia has won six Spanish Primera Division home games on the spin and only last season’s champion, Atletico Madrid, kept a clean sheet at the Mestalla during the 2013-2014 league competition.
Valencia is trading at odds of -149 with several bookmakers, including Bwin, Boylesports and Coral, to continue on its merry way in a Spanish Primera Division fixture that it has dominated. Valencia has won seven and drawn three of its last 11 Spanish Primera Division matches versus Bilbao.
While Bilbao’s players must be down in the dumps, Celta’s players must feel ten-feet tall after they pulled one of upsets of the Spanish Primera Division season by beating Barcelona 1-0 at the Camp Nou. Barcelona’s ex-Celta coach, Luis Enrique, was exasperated at the end of the game after watching Barca hit the woodwork no fewer than four times.
One could argue that Celta was incredibly fortunate to beat Barcelona 1-0 at the Camp Nou but the away win, however the underdog accomplished it, must have done wonders for the confidence of the players whom Luis Enrique left behind.
Celta backs up from one of its greatest-ever results to host Granada in a Spanish Primera Division match in Vigo. Celta is available at odds of -167 with Bwin, Ladbrokes and William Hill to consolidate its spot in the Spanish Primera Division top six with a home success over a Granada team that has taken just one point from its last half a dozen league games and lost 0-6 at Barcelona during that spell.
Apart from a 1-3 Spanish Primera Division home loss to Villarreal – a match that it controlled for long periods and chased even after Andreu Fontas was sent off when the score was 1-2 – Celta is unbeaten in its 10 league matches and its overall form entitles it to one’s support against Granada.
Finally, one likes the odds of -189 with Ladbrokes about the Spanish Primera Division derby between Real Madrid and Rayo Vallecano going over three and a half goals at the Santiago Bernabeu because of statistics from this and other seasons.
First, Real Madrid’s 10 Spanish Primera Division games have had an average of 4.70 goals, with seven of them going over three and a half goals. Real Madrid is top of the Spanish Primera Division ladder for goals in its matches but Rayo Vallecano is not far behind in third, with its 10 league games having had an average of 3.20 goals, five of which have gone over three and a half goals. Pay to watch either Real Madrid or Rayo Vallecano and you will be entertained.
Second, Spanish Primera Division derbies between Real Madrid and Rayo Vallecano have a history of being high scoring, particularly those played at the Santiago Bernabeu. Real Madrid thrashed Rayo Vallecano 5-0 at home last term to make it five times out of the last six such Spanish Primera Division clashes that bookmakers have paid out on over three and a half goals. Indeed, there have been 23 goals scored in the last half a dozen Spanish Primera Division meetings of Real Madrid and Rayo Vallecano at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Real Madrid v Rayo Vallecano Over 3.5 goals
8th November 19:00 GMT
Where to Bet: Ladbrokes
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