LA LIGA boff Callum Read (@callumread) is back to attack the Spanish top-flight with two selections from Saturday’s card.
Alaves v Leganes | Saturday 17:30 | Sky Sports Red Button
Both sides earned promotion into the top-flight of Spanish football last season and it’s been a relatively smooth transition for the pair.
Alaves currently sit in 12th on 22 points while Leganes are placed in 16th, five points above of the relegation zone. One thing is for sure though; this game looks set to lack goals.
The home side defeated second-tier side Acorn during the week, meaning they have one foot in the Copa del Rey semi-final’s ahead of the second leg. Both Zouhair Feddal and Kiko Femenia are due to miss out due to suspension, with Alexis coming into the heart of the defence.
Leganes are suffering from a number of injuries – they’ve currently have six players out of action ahead of this fixture and will be looking to build from the back to take home the points. They’re likely to put plenty of men in their half, a tactic that Alaves have struggled with playing against this season.
Alaves are best when they are playing on the counter, Leganes are exactly the same with both sides lacking creativity in the final third.
The Mendizorroza faithful have seen 75% of their home fixtures have Under 2.5 Goals and overall Alaves La Liga fixtures have averages 1.83 goals per-game. Meanwhile, the hosts have scored just 0.83 goals per-game this season. What’s more, only Leganes have a worse goalscoring record.
The visitors have seen Under 2.5 Goals land in 56% of their away fixtures and are playing a lot more cautious in recent weeks, happy to sit back and take the point – in fact, they’ve drawn four of their last five.
There have been Under 2.5 Goals scored in Alaves’s last eight games and each of Leganes’ last five league games. I’m happy to follow suit at 27/50 (Marathon).
Villarreal v Valencia | Saturday 19:45 | Sky Sports 3
With both sides coming from the Valencian Community, this derby is famous for the passion shown by both the players on the pitch and the fans in the stands.
Over the last 15 years Valencia were the dominant side in this fixture, however, Villarreal have proven in the last two years they are without doubt the better side as Valencia’s leaky defence continues to cause them issues.
The Yellow Submarine aren’t exactly flying high right now – they’ve drawn four of their last five games while they lost the other. Something important to note however, is that three of the draws came in the Copa del Rey, a competition Villarreal haven’t put a lot of focus into this season.
Villarreal have the best defence in La Liga having conceded just 12 goals this campaign, while Valencia have conceded 33. It’s their defence that is causing them a lot of issues with mistakes often seen in their backline.
It’s also encouraging to see their attacking players combining well together in the final third – this season alone they’ve put three past Atletico Madrid and five past Celta Vigo.
Los Che have kept just one clean sheet in 45 La Liga games, they’ve also failed to keep a clean sheet this term and it’s hard to see that changing this weekend.
It’s funny because whoever starts in the defence they seem to ship goals – they’ve conceded two or more in all of their last four away games in the league and concede an average of 1.94 goals per-game – the worst defensive record aside from the bottom-three.
The hosts have a number of players who will cause Valencia issues, including Nicola Sansone who returns from suspension and will most likely start up front.
With their defence conceding for fun I’m backing Villarreal to score Over 1.5 Goals at even-money with Coral.
Alaves v Leganes – Under 2.5 Goals (27/50 Marathon)
Villarreal v Valencia – Villarreal to score Over 1.5 Goals (1/1 Coral)
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