Valencia welcome Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid to the Mestalla on Friday evening in the first match of La Liga matchday 24. Valencia currently occupy 7th position, but are only two points behind their Friday opponent, and a further three points behind surprise-package Getafe in third. Atletico Madrid, on the other hand, currently occupy fourth-position, and the pre-season predicted title-challenger are now 13 points behind league leader, Real Madrid. Who is the favorite in this encounter? What are the best sportsbetting tips?
Valencia are looking to qualify for the Champions League for the third consecutive season. At the moment they are in seventh position after earning only 37 points from their opening 24 matches. They find themselves only two points behind the top four, and with a crowded pack from third to seventh and perhaps eighth, the race for the Champions League is far from over and should prove a riveting subtext to a very close La Liga season on all fronts.
Valencia come into this match in iffy form, especially since the turn of the year. In nine matches so far this year, they have lost four times in every competition. Particularly worrying is the fact that they’ve lost their last two matches – a 2-1 reverse away at Granada in the Copa Del Rey – and a 3-0 loss away at Getafe in the league. Just the same, Albert Celades’ men will take heart at the match taking place on home soil.
Valencia are yet to lose a La Liga match at the Mestalla this season. Only Barcelona and Real Madrid have a better record than Valencia when playing at home. Los Ches have played 12 matches at home and won seven and drawn the remaining five. In those 12 matches, they’ve scored 19 goals and conceded only nine goals. They’ve also won their last two matches at home, with the most notable victory coming against Barcelona.
Having established themselves as part of the top three for a long time now, Atletico Madrid are having a terrible season by their standards. They run the risk of missing out on Champions League football for next season, should things not improve. Diego Simeone’s side currently occupy fourth position, tied with Sevilla on 39 points, and only four points ahead of eighth-placed Villareal.
One of the reasons for their poor form this season has been a lack of goals. They have scored only 23 goals in 23 matches, an average of one per match. Their 1-0 win over Granada at home was the first goal they scored in four league matches, and only the second goal in six matches in every competition. It’s also hard to see how the team will score in their forthcoming matches, seeing as they are without three of their first choice strikers.
Los Rojiblancos are also suspect on the road this season. In 11 away matches, they’ve only won three matches. They’ve lost three and drawn five of the remaining matches and scored only eight goals. Two of the last away matches have ended up in defeats with no goals scored, although one of those losses came against Real Madrid.
Both sides have decisions to make in the attacking department with many forward players on the injuries list.
This is a difficult game to predict that could swing either way; and with both sides having Champions League football to look forward to next week, it would be interesting to see how each coach sets up his team. In terms of prediction, our focus would be on goals. Three of the last six games involving Valencia have ended with less than 1.5 goals, while three of Atletico Madrid’s last four matches have ended the same. If that seems a little risky, under 2.5 goals is also an attractive market to bet on, seeing as only one of the last six games between the two sides have featured more than 2.5 goals. In fact, the last meeting between the two sides finished 1-1. Betway offers the following odds: under 1.5 – 2.64 odds; under 2.5 goals – 1.53 odds. Find out more about this bookie on our bookmaker Betway page.
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