EUROPEAN football fanatic Mark O'Haire (@MarkOHaire) heads to Spain on Sunday for his latest best bet on the continent.
Eibar v Getafe | Sunday 8th December 2019, 11:00 | Premier Sports
Plucky Eibar have punched well above their weight since securing a first ever promotion to La Liga back in 2014/15. The smallest club to ever reach the Spanish top-flight, Los Armeros have defied perennial pre-season predictions of doom to establish themselves amongst the Iberian elite.
Under wily head coach Jose Luis Mendilibar, Eibar have finished 10th, 9th and 12th across their last three campaigns, even taking the honour of top Basque club during the 2017/18 renewal. However, Los Armeros’ stay in the top-tier could be coming under serious threat this term following the departure of key players.
Joan Jordan, Ruben Pena and Marc Cucurella all exited in the summer and with Eibar operating off a shoestring budget, capable replacements have been hard to find. Los Armeros have slumped to eight defeats from their opening 15 fixtures and now sit just two points off the drop-zone after a 4-1 defeat at Sociedad.
Although Eibar have earned three of their four La Liga victories at Ipura this term, Mendilibar’s men rank inside the bottom five across a range of major performance data metrics and their toiling defence (and inconsistent attack) make Sunday’s hosts unappealing favourites when welcoming streetwise Getafe.
Back Getafe to gain positive result
Getafe head coach Jose Bordalas is in only his third season as a La Liga boss despite coaching for over 25 years. When he took over, Los Azulones were second bottom of the second division, but they went up, finished eighth and are now operating in the Europa League, as well as consolidating in the top-flight.
Bordalas is credited as being an intelligent, analytical and exceptionally demanding boss, and his side’s set-up is defined by solidity and solidarity. El Geta are tough, aggressive, direct, and every member of the squad are clear about their role and what’s being asked. They’re devilishly difficult to beat.
There are no standout stars – Getafe are built around a team ethic and it’s working an absolute treat. Los Azulones have lost only 25/91 (27%) of games since promotion – 15 of which came against Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico, Valencia or Sevilla. Exclude the big five and, Getafe have lost only 10/67 (15%).
The aforementioned aggressive nature does come at a cost, mind. Remarkably, all bar two of their 45 away days since returning to La Liga have seen the Madrid men collect at least two cards, and no team in Europe’s five major leagues is collecting more cautions than Bordalas’ boys, so we’ll build that into our bet.
Don’t expect a low goals output
I’ve already made the case for Getafe getting a positive result from Sunday’s showdown, as well as the guests collecting a couple of bookings, and I’m keen to complete the case by supporting at least one goal to be scored at Ipura.
Eibar have scored in 21 of their 26 home games since the start of last season – averaging 1.50 goals per-game – and are hosting a Getafe defence that’s kept only four shutouts in 26 dating back to the beginning of 2018/19 on the road. Nevertheless, Los Azulones have notched themselves in 19 away contests.
The capital club welcome Jaime Mata back from suspension to lead the line and should be well capable of breaching Eibar’s dodgy backline, especially with their deadly set-pieces. Collectively, the duo have seen at least one goal in all bar three of their 30 outings this term, as well as 3/52 (6%) in their respective home/away matches since the start of last season.
Put all three pieces of the puzzle together and we can grab 7/5 (Bet365) on Getafe in the Double Chance market, Getafe to collect Over 1 Card and Over 0 Goals for Sunday morning’s early start in Spain.
Eibar v Getafe – Getafe double chance, Getafe to collect Over 1 Card and Over 0 Goals (7/5 Bet365)