THE Copa del Rey Round of 16 concludes this midweek. We asked Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) to find us some value from Tuesday’s games.
Espanyol v Valencia | Tuesday 19.00 | Sky Sports 5
Espanyol ended 2014 in decent nick. The 5-1 scoreline in their defeat at Catalan neighbours Barcelona didn’t do the Parakeets justice in a run that saw Sergio Gonzalez’s side collect nine points from a possible 12 in La Liga.
However, 2015 has begun with three successive losses. A surprise 2-1 reverse at home to Eibar kicked things off before Valencia (2-1) and Real Madrid (3-0) rolled over the Blue & Whites in the past week. But don’t let those results put you off backing Espanyol +0.25 at 8/9 with BetVictor for the return Copa del Rey clash with Valencia.
Taking this bet, we’ll have a winner should the hosts beat Los Che but if the match ends in a draw, we’ll also pocket half of our possible payout. The only way we’ll lose if his the home side are beaten and that’s only happened once in their last nine at the Power8 Stadium.
Espanyol look underrated in the markets and do enjoy a visit from Valencia. The fallen giants have won just once in seven trips to the Catalans now and remain unreliable on the road. Nuno Espirito Santo’s side have come out on top in just three of their last away trips and like most of the bigger sides, have made a number of changes to his XI for the Copa del Rey.
Levante v Malaga | Tuesday 21.00 | Sky Sports 5
This is a Copa del Rey game I’m happy to run a mile from. Malaga hold a 2-0 lead from last week’s reverse fixture and should be far too good to let that slip.
The kick that Levante saw when Lucas Alcaraz took charge has extinguished. The Frogs are winless in nine although they have ended up level in six of those games. All in all, Levante have won just three of 21 matches in all competitions this season and even required away goals to get passed lower-league opposition Albacete in the previous round.
Malaga should come to kill the tie and with a number of changes expected to their XI, I’m happier taking a watching brief than putting my money on the line in what’s most likely to be a dead-rubber.
Espanyol v Valencia – Espanyol +0.25 Asian Handicap (8/9 BetVictor)