LA LIGA continues its return on Friday night as city rivals Valencia and Levante lock horns. WLB debutant Jack Wright (@bet_shop_boys ) is on-hand to preview the match-up .
Valencia v Levante | Friday 12th June 2020, 21:00 | La Liga TV
Back in March 2020 I received some bad news – my one true love told me we needed to distance ourselves from each other, and I had no idea how long for. How would I cope!?
Well, we’ve finally been reunited. Of course, I am referring to La Liga, which played its last game on 10th March and gets back underway this Thursday night with the Seville derby.
My first WLB piece focusses on Friday evening’s encounter between Valencia, who are looking to stay in the hunt for a top-four finish and city rivals Levante at the Mestalla in the Derby del Turia.
On pre-lockdown paper this looks a banker home win – Valencia are undefeated in 15 league outings at Mestalla, scoring in all 14 this season, whilst the visitors have lost their last five La Liga road trips, falling behind before half-time in their most recent three and without an away clean sheet this term.
During standard circumstances, I could have been tempted by the 7/4 available on Valencia/Valencia in the HT/FT market but despite Los Che’s fine home record, they have only managed to do that on three occasions in 2019/20 so I will give it a miss. Instead. I’ve tried to find an angle with a little bit of cover given the dilution of home advantage we’ve seen in the Bundesliga (albeit from a small sample).
Valencia to score
So for my first fancy I will be using a couple of stats previously mentioned and putting them in a Same Game Multi with Betfair. Firstly, I am expecting Valencia to continue their 100% record of scoring in every home league game – of course there is no value in backing just a home goal but dig a little deeper and we find something we can use.
Of Valencia’s 23 home league goals, only eight have netted in the first half with 65% arriving after the interval at an average of 1.07 per-game. Levante have conceded 28 away goals at an average of exactly 2.00 per game with just 10 leaked by half-time and 18 shipped in the second period.
Levante king of the corners
What Levante most certainly bring to the table is corners. The guests top the table in away match corners (11.71) and have the highest overall average (11.11) per-game.
Interestingly, despite their performances on the road, Los Granotas lead the league for corners won (71) and have the highest average (5.07) per game.
Meanwhile, Valencia have conceded 59 in 14 (4.21) at home and so I’ll take Levante to win at least four flag kicks. We can therefore combine Valencia to score Over 0.5 Goals in the second-half and Levante to win Over 3.5 Corners at 13/10 (Betfair).
Roger Marti to provide offensive threat
Valencia are missing suspended defensive midfield enforcer Geoffrey Kondogbia for this one; add in the long break from action, plus this match being played behind closed doors, and it may lead to the visitors having more joy in the final third than they would otherwise expect.
Levante striker Roger Marti has been in great form this season netting 11 times from 1668 minutes of La Liga action – a goal every 151 minutes. Los Granotas actually average more shots per-game than their hosts (11.48 versus 9.19) and as just mentioned could have more joy than usual.
Although Marti averages just under two shots per-game, he did manage three on-target in his last two outings before the enforced break – a draw at home to Granada, where he scored his side’s only goal, and in a 3-0 defeat at Eibar. He also managed two strikes on-target in the contest between these two in the reverse fixture. I’m taking him to hit the target at least twice this Friday night at 7/4 (Betfair).