MARK O'HAIRE'S (@MarkOHaire) European NAP heads to La Liga on Monday.
Deportivo La Coruna v Real Betis | Monday 12th February 2018, 20:00 | Sky Sports
Deportivo La Coruna were crowned Spanish champions in 2000 and finished in the top-three in the following four seasons. But the Galicians have been through the mill in more recent memory, enduring a relegation (and promotion), as well as finishing in the bottom-six in the past five La Liga campaigns.
Off the pitch Depor have been a mess. Financial constraints and a trigger-happy board in the midst of a power struggle has weighed heavily on the La Coruna outfit as they’ve struggled to keep their heads above water.
Last season the Branquiazuis sacked Gaizka Garitano midway through the year after an uninspiring spell with Pepe Mel brought in to steady the ship. The ex-West Brom boss brought Deportivo back into calmer waters but he too was jettisoned in October following an inauspicious start to the 2017/18 season.
Cristobal Parralo was the next name through the door but following last Friday’s 4-0 thumping at Real Sociedad, the club decided to make a third coaching change already this term. Cristobal had lost eight of his 13 games in charge and left La Coruna without a win in seven and three points from safety.
As you’ll have seen, Clarence Seedorf was the shock choice to take the hot-seat – the fifth man in charge since the start of last season – as he signed a deal until the end of the season. The Dutch legend is adamant he can keep Depor afloat despite his minimal top-level coaching experience.
It’s a definite gamble by both Seedorf and the club – and the Galicians’ new number one must start by addressing the wretched defence. Deportivo have the division’s worst defensive record – they’ve conceded 22 goals in their last seven outings and will be without key defender Sidnei on Monday night.
It’s a shame the Branquiazuis are so bad at the back as going forward they do a pack a punch. Deportivo’s forwardline is as good as any outside the top-six featuring the likes of Lucas Perez, Florin Andone and Adrian Lopez – and they’ve scored in every home games bar when the two Madrid giants arrived.
In fact, three of their last five at their Riazor base have followed this goals theme by surpassing the Over 3.5 Goals line, whilst 11 of their most recent 14 encounters on home soil have paid out for Over 2.5 Goals backers. Naturally, I’m keen to explore the goals markets here.
Betis led by the great entertainer
Visitors Real Betis are bossed by Quique Setien, a head coach that prides his teams on playing attack-minded, open and expansive entertaining football. A huge 41% of matches involving his Las Palmas team produced Over 3.5 Goals and Betis have followed suit this season.
No La Liga club has seen more goals per-game (3.73) than the visitors in 2017/18 as 14 of their 22 contests crept over the two-goals line – half have even broken the Over 3.5 Goals barrier. And on their travels, Betis have beaten the Over 4.5 Goals line in four of their 10 away days.
If we put the two clubs’ collective records together this term, 68% would have provided profit in the Over 2.5 Goals market, with 50% paying-out for Over 3.5 Goals backers, suggesting Monday’s meeting will be a thrill-a-minute affair. And for that reason, I’m punting Over 2.5 Goals and Both Teams To Score (87/100 Marathon).
Deportivo La Coruna v Real Betis – Over 2.5 Goals and Both Teams To Score (87/100 Marathon)