MARK O’HAIRE (@MarkOHaire) analyses the odds ahead of Thursday night’s Copa del Rey semi-final second leg between Celta and Sevilla.
Celta Vigo v Sevilla | Thursday 19.30
Celta Vigo meet Sevilla for the third time in eight days on Thursday night, hoping to find a way back into their Copa del Rey semi-final tie.
The Galicians suffered a 4-0 route in last week’s first leg encounter but the final score didn’t quite reflect the 90 minutes on show. Both sides had traded opportunities before Adil Rami broke the deadlock on the stroke of half-time.
And Kevin Gameiro’s second-half brace in a matter of minutes gave the game a lopsided look. Celta pressed hard for a route back into the match but were unable to find a consolation as Michael Krohn-Dehli completed the rout late on.
The duo locked horns at Balaidos in La Liga on Sunday with Sevilla boss Unai Emery retaining just four players in a heavily rotated line-up. Despite seeing on-loan Tottenham defender Federico Fazio sent off after 25 minutes, the Andalusians were decent value for a 1-1 draw.
Emery will expect his troops to complete the job professionally this midweek but Sevilla just look a touch overrated in the markets. The visitors have returned W3-D8-L8 on the road this season with all three victories arriving in the Copa del Rey – at Real Betis and lower league clubs Mirandes and Logrones.
Looking purely at La Liga action, Los Rojiblancos have scored just six goals in 11 away days, failing to even net on five occasions. So I just can’t have them at quotes as short as 11/8 against a Celta side with something to prove.
The Vigo-based hosts have W4-D2-L6 in their past 12 but four of those losses came on their travels and their W7-D4-L4 return from home fixtures shows what a danger Eduardo Berizzo's boys can be.
The Sky Blues go to Barcelona this weekend and a clutch of suspensions for that match are likely to have a bearing on Berizzo's team selection here.
Fabian Orellana is available for Copa action despite being in the midst of a Liga ban while cautions for Sergi Gomez, Theo Bongonda and Iago Aspas on Sunday mean they’ll all miss out his weekend, so should figure on Thursday.
There are also concerns over the condition of the Balaidos playing surface, which was relayed nine days ago and is showing the effects of the weekend match and poor weather conditions.
So with that in mind, I’d prefer to throw my stance behind Celta. With Sevilla short in the betting, the chance to back Celta with a +0.25 Asian Handicap start at 8/11 (Matchbook) as hosts looks too good to turn down.
With this selection, we’ll make money should the home side avoid defeat – a full pay-out if they come out on top with a half win bagged if the match ends all square. The only way in which we won't collect cash is if Sevilla are victorious.
Celta Vigo v Sevilla – Celta Vigo +0.25 (8/11 Matchbook)
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