COPA Del Rey is again the highlight from this midweek’s continental action and Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) has two bets from the Round of 16 second legs on Wednesday night.
Real Sociedad v Villarreal | Wednesday 19.00 | Sky Sports 5
David Moyes’ appointment at Real Sociedad was greeted with what appeared to be, a few jeers, groans and snide remarks from the British media. It was almost as if they wanted him to fail as he looked to rebuild his reputation in San Sebastian and it’s the type of attitude that only alienates me from the game in this country.
Once a hugely-respected boss on these shores, he’s now almost become a figure of fun. Call me dull and boring but it’s incredibly tiresome, immature and frankly wrong. I’m a staunch defender of Louis Van Gaal but even the Dutch master is struggling to turn the Manchester United ship around despite the club throwing millions at the squad. So lay off Dave, will you?
I’m delighted Moyes took the role at La Real and willing him to enjoy some success. His first six weeks have seen measured improvement – Sociedad have W3-D5-L2 – but we’re starting to see his team show all the hallmarks for what we’ve come to expect from the Scotsman’s sides. They’re hard-working, organised, tenacious and difficult to beat.
Those aforementioned 10 games have resulted in five clean sheets for La Real with eight also featuring Under 2.5 Goals. On Wednesday night they look to overturn a 1-0 deficit in the Copa del Rey against Villarreal, a team that Moyes’ boys are well versed in meeting.
The Yellow Submarine washed Sociedad away 4-0 in a La Liga clash during early December in arguably the only major low-point since the former Everton boss took charge. And back on home soil, we should expect a much-improved display from the San Sebastian club.
At the Anoeta, Sociedad have W7-D2-L3 in all competitions this term with all three losses coming under the ill-fated Jagoba Arrasate reign. Since his departure, La Real have beaten both Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in a W4-D1 spell in front of their home supporters.
So I’m going to back Real Sociedad +0.25 at 10/13 with BetVictor. I’m not sure they have enough to overturn their first leg deficit but they’re certainly capable of getting a result on Wednesday night. In fact, I think the markets are a little disrespectful to La Real’s home record (nine defeats in 46 league matches since the start of 2012/13).
Yes, Villarreal are riding the crest of a wave. They’re unbeaten in 13 and have recorded eight victories in their last 10 outings. But let’s not forget, they don’t require a win here and at a best price of 6/4, look too short to consider. In La Liga they’ve won twice in six away trips to top-half teams and with our selection, we’ll even bag half our potential full pay-out if the game ends all square in a draw.
Sevilla v Granada | 21.00 Wednesday | Sky Sports 5
Right, I’m going to take a bit of a punt. Sevilla should certainly win this match and should also win this match relatively comfortably. Unai Emery ‘s side have recorded seven wins and a draw in their last eight matches and that includes a 2-1 win away to Granada in the first leg of this Copa del Rey tie.
The hosts normally see off their regional rivals pretty easily at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan too. Their last three clashes (all in La Liga) at Sevilla’s base have resulted in three victories with an aggregate score of 12-1. The most obvious selection would be to back the Rojiblancos in the handicaps, to win by 2+.
Sevilla have kept five clean sheets in their last six and it’s easy to point towards Granada’s low-scoring record in league action and blindly back a home win ‘to nil’. But I’m going to take a punt and have a play on the hosts to win and Both Teams To Score at 23/10 (Betfair).
Firstly, it’s a cup clash. Emery will rotate his side and that should give Granada chances to take advantage of a bit of unfamiliarity amongst the home defence. Secondly, the visitors are a pretty decent set-piece threat. And thirdly, they are actually getting goals – they’ve netted in eight of their last nine including a 5-1 loss at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan back in November.
In fact, seven of Granada’s last nine have recorded winners for BTTS punters and it’s also worth noting Sevilla can boast only three clean sheets in nine La Liga outings in front of their home fans. Of course, tread lightly as it’s a cup competition after all but it should give us some interest for the late Wednesday game.