MORE La Liga profit for Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) this weekend. Can he continue his hot streak in Spain on Monday night?
Almeria v Celta Vigo | Monday 19.45
I absolutely love La Liga; it’s the best league in the world but sometimes it really does let itself down. Almeria are perched a point above the relegation zone with just four games to play and for nearly two months now they’ve had a potential points deduction hanging over their heads with no sign of a resolution.
The club have appealed against the three-point penalty but nobody seems to have a clue what’s going on in Spain. Certain sections of the media are including the docked points in their league table, others are choosing to ignore until the case is heard and dealt with. It’s hardly ideal for a team fighting for their lives.
Still the club are trying to put a positive spin on things and so they should be after a much-improved finale under new boss Sergi Barjuan. The former Barcelona full-back has already won more top-flight home games (2/2) than his two predecessors as Almeria boss and now the Rojiblancos are hoping to add Celta to the list of victims at their Estadio de los Juegos Mediterraneos home.
Sergi is expected to revert to the same side that triumphed 2-0 over Eibar recently with Thievy Bifouma and Wellington Silva both returning from suspension and with just one defeat in seven on familiar turf, including five clean sheets, there’s plenty of confidence in the home camp.
However, out-of-form Villarreal were the only top-half visitor in that seven-game spell and Monday night’s visitors from Vigo will no doubt offer a much sterner examination. Celta still have hopes of clinching a European qualification place and make the trip having W3-D2-L1 in their previous six on the road, collecting clean sheets in half of those six outings.
Eduardo Berizzo's men gave Real Madrid a scare in their 4-2 loss in Galicia last weekend but bounced back with a 1-0 victory over Malaga in midweek. That midweek success is more in line with how Celta’s season has unfolded and I’m happy to take the offer of 10/11 from William Hill that this game serves up Under 2.5 Goals.
Following the trends of both sides, Almeria have recorded fewer than three goals in 10/16 (63%) of their matches as hosts in La Liga this term including all five meetings with top-half clubs excluding the Big-Two. Celta have seen the Under 2.5 Goals bet bank in 13/16 (76%) of their road games, including eight of their nine trips to bottom-half teams.
Putting the two teams’ Under 2.5 Goals records together, we should be expecting around a 69.5% chance of a repeat on Monday night – if we put that percentage chance into equivalent odds we’d be expecting a 4/9 shot, meaning the 10/11 from William Hill is a big value selection. I’ll happily get involved at those quotes.
Almeria v Celta Vigo – Under 2.5 Goals (10/11 William Hill)
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