MARK O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) previews the Monday night match-up between Eibar and Elche from La Liga.
Eibar v Elche | Monday 19.45
With the bottom three in La Liga all failing to register a win this weekend, Eibar and Elche know Monday night’s meeting is a great opportunity to put daylight between them and the relegation zone in Spain.
Minnows Eibar have enjoyed a fairtytale first season in the top-flight but Gaizka Garitano’s men will be keen to arrest a slide in results which has seen Armeros take just a solitary point from games against Cordoba, Atletico Madrid, Deportivo and Sociedad in recent weeks.
The Basque club have an eight-point advantage over the drop zone but will need to keep their points tally ticking over if they’re to avoid being dragged into the dogfight. Another 12 should see Armeros safe and they should be targeting Monday’s match as a chance to end their barren spell.
Elche, meanwhile, have registered three wins in their last five La Liga fixtues as Fran Escriba continues to try and steer his relegation-threatened side away from the drop zone. A comprehensive 2-0 victory over Rayo Vallecano last Monday night lifted Los Franjiverdes out of the bottom three and they’ll keep to continue their upturn in form at the tiny Ipurua stadium.
So how do we approach this match from a betting angle? The bookmakers are expecting a closely-fought, low-scoring tie but I’m happy to go against the grain and look at goals-based markets. Both Teams To Score is rated a 23/17 chance with 888 Sport and at that price, it’s well worth a nibble.
Eibar have now gone seven games without a clean sheet and the Basque side have already faced more shots than any other La Liga side this season. What’s more, goalkeeper Xabi Irureta has been forced to make more saves than any other goalkeeper and to be brutally honest, he’s probably the worst stopper in the division.
The two goals Armeros gave away at Deportivo last time out were incredibly sloppy. Irureta dropped a clanger for the first before shoddy defending allowed Depor double their advantage. With just one clean sheet in 10 home outings, it’s hard to make a case for them adding to that tally on Monday night.
Visitors Elche are just as poor at the back. With just one shutout on the road all season, Los Franjiverdes also boast the league’s lowest clean sheet record (3/22) as well conceding a league-high 42 goals already this campaign.
They have, however, scored in half of their away games and will fancy their chances of notching at Eibar. Star striker Jonathas will keep his place at the head of the attack despite netting only two goals in his last 10 outings but the Brazilian remains a big threat and should make Eibar’s dodgy defence pay, should they offer the Alicante side any opportunities.
And for those asking, the BTTS bet has paid out in 6/10 of Eibar’s home fixtures since promotion as well as 5/10 Elche away games this term. So I think the 23/17 on offer is more than fair and I’m happy swimming against the tide with Monday night’s selection.
Eibar v Elche – Both Teams To Score (23/17 888 Sport)
*Remember, you can earn a bonus of up to 100% on your returns if you place accumulators on the Premier League, Serie A, La Liga or Bundesliga with Bet365. Place a pre-match accumulator of 3 or more selections combining teams in any of those competitions, and if successful Bet365 will add the a bonus to your returns.*
What’s your best bet for Monday night’s La Liga tussle? Is Mark on the right lines?
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