La Liga returns this weekend and there’s a gigantic clash to look forward to as Valencia host Atletico Madrid. We’ve taken a look to see if there is value to be found on the continent.
Valencia come into Saturday’s game as the underdogs despite being at home and are available to back at 11/4 to win the game. Atletico Madrid are just about odds against coming in at 21/20 with the draw a 23/10 play. The traders are unable to split the No and Yes in the BTTS score market with both up at 5/6. A low-scoring affair is clearly in their thoughts with the under 2.5 goals a 8/11 shot and overs available to bet on at 11/10. We’ll come back to that market later…
Valencia boss Rubén Baraja is looking to inspire his side after the international break. Hugo Duro is likely to start up front with André Almeida as this young side look to find their way in La Liga. Meanwhile Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid have loaned Joao Felix to Barcelona, and are looking to move forward with their attacking front line of Memphis Depay, Antoine Griezmann and Alvaro Morata.
Under 2.5 goals
Atletico Madrid are rock solid at the back again. They’ve kept three clean sheets on the bounce in the league, and looked sturdy on the road in particular. You know what you are going to get with a Simeone side, but it was their attacking ruthlessness that has caught the eye in that 7-0 hammering of Rayo Vallecano.
That scoreline may scare you away from backing under 2.5 in this one, but it was an anomaly. They were dominant, hitting Rayo on the counter-attack with ruthless efficiency with just 43% of possession. The home side collapsed from 3-0 down at 72 minutes, to 7-0 down on 84 minutes, as Atletico scored with almost every shot.
Now they are still superior on paper to Valencia, but they shouldn’t run away with it. A more comparable match may be the 2-0 win they enjoyed over Numancia. They produced an excellent second half display to seal the win and control the final score. They aren’t usually a team to go out and score loads of goals, and they are always focused on defence first.
Valencia lost 1-0 to Alaves last time out, and beat Alaves 1-0 at home earlier in the season. As a result of these two factors, under 2.5 goals seems a good pick here.
Atletico Madrid to win to nil
Valencia aren’t the force they once were in La Liga. They finished a lowly 16th last term, just avoiding the drop and are still searching for the answers to their financial issues. They are now trying to build the club up again using young players, but competing with the big boys of Europe again seems a long way off.
Atleti meanwhile are still going strong. Depay, Griezmann, Morata, Marcos Llorente, Jan Oblak – the list of talent is seemingly growing under Simeone. Three clean sheets on the bounce has shown just how solid they are at the back, while that attacking talent should secure them the win. Atleti to win to nil.