MARK O’HAIRE (@MarkOHaire) shares his verdict on the best bets for Monday night’s live La Liga action from Valencia.
Levante v Sporting Gijon | Monday 19.30 | Sky Sports 3
Mallorca in 2005, Celta in 2013 and Granada in 2015.
Only three sides have avoided relegation with as few points as Levante have (24) had after 30 La Liga games. But the Frogs have a fantastic opportunity to claw themselves back to within striking distance of survival on Monday night.
Rock-bottom Levante welcome second-from-bottom Sporting Gijon to the Ciutat de Valencia and it’s Rubi’s hosts that make the most appealing bet at 11/10 with BetVictor.
Since arriving at the club, Rubi’s 0.86 points-per-game (W5-D3-L13) is little better than dreadful but Levante’s home record gives fans of the Frogs reason to believe. At the Ciutat de Valencia, Levante have returned W4-D1-L5 and a 1.30 points-per-game average.
Again, it’s hardly a record that would strike fear into opponents but more recently, the Frogs have W4-D0-L2 when welcoming La Liga opposition. The two defeats came against Barcelona and Real Madrid and both away victories looked a lot more comfortable on paper than in reality.
Simao Mate is suspended and David Navarro is struggling to be fit but Carl Medjani should start and Pedro Lopez can deputise for the absent Ivan Lopez. And in Guiseppe Rossi, Levante have the best player on the pitch with the Italian international notching in back-to-back games now.
If Levante don’t exactly leap off the page at you, have a peek at Sporting Gijon’s troubles on their travels. The Asturians have been beaten in nine of their past 11 road trips, picking up just four points in that spell.
Abelardo’s troops managed to end an eight-game winless streak (W0-D3-L5) with a surprise come-from-behind home success against Atletico Madrid last time out. But the capital club were without Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez and had come off 180 gruelling minutes with PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League.
Los Rojiblancos make the journey without centre-half Jorge Mere, meaning Ognjen Vranjes will be pushed back into defence with Alberto Lora featuring at right-back. Carlos Castro will need to be watched in offensive areas – scorer of five of Sporting’s last six La Liga goals – but Gijon’s timid attack is worth highlighting.
When playing away, Sporting have fired in a league-low 29 shots-on-target – that equates to just 1.93 per-game and it’s a fair distance off the next worst, Getafe (38). It’s therefore no major surprise to see the travellers post a horrific 26% shots-on-target ratio figure as guests – their overall share of the total shots-on-target in away fixtures.
Levante’s 47% shots-on-target ratio return from home league games is also a league worst but there’s been significant signs of life and improvement in the Frogs’ camp during the past few weeks and with W4-D2-L2 results when welcoming teams in ninth and below, I’m happy to give the hosts a chance at odds-against quotes.
Levante v Sporting Gijon – Levante to win (11/10 BetVictor)
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